March 26, 1993              HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS              Vol. XLI  No. 14


The House met at 9:00 a.m.

MR. SPEAKER (Lush): Order, please!

Statements by Ministers

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

MR. HOGAN: With leave, Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to extend deepest sympathies to the town and municipality of Main Brook and to the family of the late deputy mayor, David Gibbons, Sr., who died yesterday in a tragic accident in his community. Mr. Gibbons was a long-time member of the Main Brook town council and served many years in the Federation and in municipal life in this Province. A dedicated family man, a dedicated community man, he met with this unfortunate accident in helping his fellow man and his neighbour. I would like to have this House send the deepest sympathies of all members to the family and to the council and community.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the members on this side we want to associate ourselves with the remarks made by the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, and send to the family of the late Mr. Gibbons and the town of Main Brook our sincere regrets on the unfortunate event that occurred there yesterday. The explosion of the oil tank points out the kind of volunteers that we have in this Province - people willingly going out, without pay and without any kind of compensation, helping fellow citizens in time of need. We want to share in the remarks made by the minister.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East is seeking leave of the House.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. SPEAKER: By leave.

The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Mr. Speaker, I don't understand any more leave is required for this hon. member in this. This matter is a personal one and I would join with everyone in the House to offer the condolences of the members of the House to the Gibbons family and to the people of Main Brook in this tragedy.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, I should like to have leave for a few seconds to offer congratulations. Newfoundland had two athletes sent away to the Special Olympics or the special winter games, I am not sure which it was.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The Chair wants to make sure the hon. member has leave.

By leave, the hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: It will take just a minute, Mr. Speaker. I want to inform the House that Wayne Maloney, a young man who happened to be a neighbour of mine for quite some time, whose father I know, has won a gold medal; and Ms. Durdel, the young lady who was 'away', has won a silver medal in cross-country skiing.

I want to inform members of the House that these young people will be returning to the Province at 1:05 Sunday morning, and there will be a reception for them from people around the Kilbride area. Anyone who would like to come out certainly will be welcome.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

MR. HOGAN: This side of the House would certainly like to be associated with the remarks of the hon. the Member for Kilbride in extending our congratulations to yet another achievement in the field of athletics. The people from the west end - in this case, it is the hon. member's neighbour - have always done well in the field of sports, and this side of the House would like to be associated with any congratulations, indeed, any support, that can be rendered in this particular area of athletics.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to join in to say that I was delighted to hear this morning of the success of these athletes in these games. It was very encouraging to note that, for one of the participants, this is the first year he has been involved in sports, and it is remarkable to see that such an achievement can be reached by someone who, apparently, previous to this year, has not been involved in competitive sports. I think it is an inspiration to all those who would like to be involved in some activity and yet hold back for fear they cannot do well. This is indeed a remarkable achievement, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Questions

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Social Services.

We have heard of a somewhat strange decision being made already concerning the Day Break Centre. Now, we are hearing of another decision that can only be described as a heartless decision, I suppose, and a clear example of being out of touch with people.

I want to ask the minister this: Can he tell the House why he and his Cabinet colleagues have decided to take away the assistance that has been provided to and allowed disabled students to pursue their post-secondary education, and why, indeed, now they are forcing these students to go the student loan route, particularly when we all know there are a lot of administrative problems with the student loan program in process, which is difficult enough as it is?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, we have asked that students at institutions of higher learning, whether it be the University, or otherwise, through the VRDP program, would be now required to apply for student loans first, as the first step, if they need funds to assist them. If, through that process, and afterwards through the remainder of the procedure, it is discovered that they still need assistance - basically what we are saying is, it is more of a means test than we have had in the past. We have not had that step in the past so that loan process will come first and if it is deemed afterwards - after the loan application has been processed - that they still need assistance and still should be involved with the VRDP program they will still be able to access it.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition on a supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Is the minister saying that the disabled students who have been receiving this assistance in the past did not need the assistance? Is that what he is trying to tell us here this morning? Secondly, let me ask him this, is he not aware that these students and their families go through the more than usual financial difficulties than normal families would go through? Is he not aware of that? All this is doing is putting them through more difficulties from a financial perspective.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. GULLAGE: We are not saying, Mr. Speaker, that many of these individuals and their families do not need the assistance that was provided in the past but there may be circumstances where some of the students do not require the assistance and I think it would be unfair, given the circumstances we are in fiscally, to continue to provide assistance to those people who may be accessing assistance, who are reasonably well off, have income sources and really in fact should not be on the programs. We are introducing the means test and changing the procedure.

You are quite right in saying that people, most of them, are in situations where they require special considerations and special needs as in fact we have with other client groups, single parents, for example, where we provide assistance out of the norm because they have requirements for day care, for transportation, and other means that normal students in the normal sense do not require. Yes, they are in the same category where they have special consideration but as far as income is concerned we have to, in those difficult times, ensure that if a person has means of income other than student loans and in fact can pay their own way through higher education, wherever it might be, university or otherwise, then that has to be considered in these difficult times. That is why we have changed the program.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition on a supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, is the minister aware that the group speaking for these disabled students do not agree with his particular assessment? Is he aware that many of these 600 or 700 disabled students, by the way, which is the number I hear, often find that they are unable as it is, to handle the same kind of workload that other students might have to handle during the course of post-secondary education? It is even making the situation more difficult financially for them, as I suggested already, and why would he be trying to do something that is going to make it more difficult for people who have enough difficulties as it already is?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, we have not received the reaction the Leader of the Opposition describes. Certainly I have heard nothing to the contrary that we introduce this step where we do require a loan application and we ask that a means test be applied, so that if there is amongst the group those individuals who have means of accommodating their needs at the university and providing for themselves because they have adequate income, then that may be a very small segment of the group when we go through the procedures. But I think it only fair that if they are able to pay their way through that they do so. I can assure the Leader of the Opposition that we will make sure that anybody who has a need for assistance through our program will get it. There will be no situation where anybody will be denied assistance and denied access to VRDP, if indeed it is justified. I am sure there are a number of people accessing the program now, there may be a very small number who have means to look after themselves and that is the group, simply that group, that we want to identify.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, on a supplementary.

MR. SIMMS: Mr. Speaker, the minister is now saying there may only be a few, it may not be very many. Can he tell us then where he is going to find the money because it is not provided for in his budget, where would he find the money then to give the grants and the assistance back to those other hundreds of students who are likely to still need the assistance?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of the program being eliminated from the budget. I think there is money identified in the budget but I have not checked that particular subhead. I did not anticipate the question this morning but certainly I will check it. There is no money eliminated from the budget for the VRDP program that I am aware of and I would be very surprised if that is so, because we certainly anticipate, Mr. Speaker, that we are going to have to expend money under this subhead and we will do so, if necessary. If they all qualify after they go through the procedure, loan application, the means test and so on, if they all qualify, then they will all be compensated and all be accommodated within the budget.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. SIMMS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Let me ask the minister one final question.

In view of the fact that there appears to be in the case of the way the minister is trying to describe it, there certainly is not that kind of an understanding among the group, the Consumers Association Organization for the Disabled for example, who have been publicly speaking about this situation and expressing grave concerns about what the government is trying to do. Will the minister at least call this group in and will he have a discussion with them and if they are able to argue to the minister that their case is much stronger than he sees it, would he be prepared to reconsider the decision?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Social Services.

MR. GULLAGE: Mr. Speaker, I have had nobody from this group approach me for a meeting or even for a discussion about the matter. Certainly, if there is concern I will address it and discuss it with them. But, Mr. Speaker, I do not believe it is open for review in the sense that if there are amongst this group people who have means and are able to look after themselves by way of adequate income, I think that policy will stand, Mr. Speaker, but certainly as far as discussions are concerned, listening to their concerns, I will be more than happy to do so.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Education. Most of the budget cuts in this budget are still cloaked in a shroud of mystery but one of the few proclaimed ones is the $750,000 cut for program consultants, curriculum consultants, in the Department of Education. The minister has said that there could be anywhere from 12-23 consultants who will lose their jobs. I ask the minister, does he now know how many consultants will actually lose their jobs in the department?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Education.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, there will be six people who will be laid off. There will be nine people who are seconded from school boards who will return to their positions back at the school boards. There are two people who will be reassigned to cost shared federal-provincial programs and there will be two people who will retire. So there are nineteen people who will be affected, Mr. Speaker, of which five will be laid off. It is regrettable that anyone has to be laid off but the previous administration built up such a massive administration in all different aspects of government, they put the trappings of an elephant on the back of a mouse and it is my unhappy duty to have to try to bring some reasonable semblance to the way this Province delivers their programs, Mr. Speaker. It is unfortunate that people were led to believe that they were in jobs that would go on forever before this was done. That is what makes it so unfortunate when you have to deal with people's lives but hon. members opposite, when they were in government, built up such a massive bureaucracy that it is going to take years for us to try to straighten it out in a humane manner.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Ferryland, on a supplementary.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, it is very unfortunate, yes, the vital years of curriculum has been gutted out completely. Well, if there are nineteen layoffs occurring in the department, what steps has the minister taken to ensure the school curriculum is kept up to date and that teachers are kept up to date on the latest developments and methods in teaching this curriculum?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Education.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the hon. member, I do not know if he heard what I said or not, there are not nineteen layoffs. I expect that nineteen people will be affected but there are not nineteen layoffs, I think the hon. member probably misunderstood me. I am confident, Mr. Speaker, that by re-aligning duties, by looking at - let me give an example. There were two consultants responsible for co-op education and enterprise education. When you look at it objectively, do you really need two people for co-op education and enterprise education in the Department of Education, and a consulting...? I think, being reasonable and fair, the two areas rightly belong under the one person. Even if we did not have a fiscal problem, in the interests of good management in my opinion it would be reasonable and proper to do that. The hon. member must know that when we were elected we were entrusted with the responsibility of getting the best value for every single cent of money our taxpayers pay. That is one example of what we do.

The Department of Education is no longer a place where the minister goes out the night before and meets some person and brings that person in the next morning, and says: give this person a job. That luxury is no longer there, Mr. Speaker. I'll tell members it used to be there. They used to call them 'Charlie's Angels'.

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Member for Ferryland.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I guess that's the basis of the minister's advice to Cabinet in preparing the Budget of slashing $750,000. They were needed last year but this year it's not. So there's a lower priority being placed on curriculum, on these consultants and their need within the department. Is that the minister's rationale for making a statement this year? Will he admit it's strictly a budgetary thing and that the curriculum now in this Province and keeping teachers and schools up to date on the latest is severely damaged as a result of these cuts, without any thoughts whatsoever to improving and maintaining a standard in the curriculum?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Education.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member seems to equate curriculum development with money. That's the mistake that the previous administration made for seventeen years and practically put this Province into bankruptcy. Their approach to dealing with any problem is to throw money at it.

This administration is putting 25 per cent of our Budget towards education. No matter which administration is running this Province it is very unlikely that we will be able to spend any more than 25 per cent of our Budget on education, unless we're going to close out all the other departments. The secret to running the Department of Education, the Department of Environment and Lands, or the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, or whatever, is to spend our money wisely and get the best value for the money that we spend. I am totally satisfied that by making the changes in the administration that we are making we are spending our money wisely and we are going to be able to deliver the program development at the same level that we were doing before, only we will deliver it more efficiently.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. For almost two years now we have been waiting for that minister to provide information to the Public Accounts Committee relating to contracts awarded for three health care clinics. I note in the recent Budget that funds are made available to open those clinics now. I think it's certainly long overdue that the information requested by the standing committee of the House from the minister be provided. Almost two years has passed. Would the minister tell us when he's prepared to provide that information?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the member indicates, this information was requested some time ago. But since that period of time I have communicated in writing the position of the department and the government to the member. The difficulty with this information is that as far as I understand the matter is still before the courts and the information contained in the proposal and tender documents is proprietary information. We have to await the opinion of the Department of Justice with respect to the litigation and the proprietary nature of the matters contained in the documents before we can release that information to the public. The government cannot be placed in a position where it's subject to litigation to jeopardize its case before the courts by untimely disclosure. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Supplementary, the hon. the Member for Mount Pearl.

MR. WINDSOR: Mr. Speaker, just for the information of the House, let me remind the House that it was on November 25, 1991, that my colleague for Kilbride first wrote to the Public Accounts Committee and asked that this matter be investigated. Subsequent letters of January 17 of 1992 to the deputy minister of the department from the research officer of PAC, response of March 6, 1992, approaches to the minister in writing by myself on June 1, 1992, June 18, 1992, November 3, 1992, November 10, 1992 -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member is on a supplementary. He should get to it.

MR. WINDSOR: - we finally got a written response, and so forth. Finally, Mr. Speaker, having been advised, as the minister said, that the matter had been referred to Justice, I wrote to the Minister of Justice on February 10, 1993. I have yet to have the courtesy of a reply from the Minister of Justice, my letter to him, asking when a legal opinion might be given to the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, since it was requested by the department more than a year before.

The minister has not responded to me. Can he tell me when he might respond to the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon the Minister of Justice.

MR. ROBERTS: I apologize for the apparent lack of courtesy. I can tell my hon. friend nothing is intended. He will understand that the last little while has been unusually busy and I confess that I have not been able to keep up with my mail, and I can only say I am sorry to him.

I would say to him, with respect, that I cannot tell him when I will provide opinions to my friend or not. I can make sure that an answer goes to him on a substantive matter, but as I recollect his letter he was asking as to what advice we would tender. I do not think I could tell him that. What I will ensure - today is Friday - he will have an answer by Monday as to what the government's position is with respect to the matter.

What advice I tender is another matter altogether. One would hope there might be a degree of congruity, but that is not something I can go into; but I do apologize to my friend. The volume of mail - the letters and cards keep coming. I can only say that I am sorry that I have not been able to get back to him. I can assure him that the letter has been dealt with.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl on a supplementary.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I might remind the minister that I also asked him back in December for a meeting with the co-chair dealing with legislation for the Public Accounts Committee, which he responded in writing very quickly and said: I will get back to this as soon as the House closes. That was three months ago.

Let me ask the minister this; I do not know if he will tell me or not. It is my information that his officials have advised him that the information should be released, that there is no basis, in fact, to keep this information from the Public Accounts Committee. Will the minister confirm that? And if that is the truth, will he now provide the information requested?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice.

MR. ROBERTS: I have no idea to what keyhole the hon. gentleman has his ear to get information, but let me say that I would not dream of saying in the House -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: I am sorry? The gentleman from Kilbride

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. ROBERTS: Well that could be, yes, but I am talking now about people with ears to keyholes.

Let me just say, Mr. Speaker, with no intent to be anything other than entirely straightforward, I would not dream of saying what advice my officials give me. I will gladly say what position the government takes, and I will answer for that, but what advice I get is - when I take decisions in legal matters, in consultation with my colleagues where that is appropriate, I answer to this House for them.

I suspect that the hon. gentleman, if ever again he becomes a minister, would continue to take that position because it would be thoroughly irresponsible - thoroughly irresponsible. I would suggest to him that he might better put his mind to something besides picking up what amounts to gossip, I suspect.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Mount Pearl on a supplementary.

MR. WINDSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I can assure the minister that gossip comes from senior officials.

Mr. Speaker, maybe I could address this question to the Premier. The Liberal policy campaign manual of 1989 has a section which reads: Provide for a Public Accounts Committee that cannot be improperly interfered with by government members sitting on the committee as it happens now.

Let me be very clear that the government members sitting on the committee have been absolutely co-operative. The problem we are having is getting information from this government. When is he going to put his money where his mouth is and give the information that is requested by the Public Accounts Committee so that he can fulfil his campaign promise of 1989?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Premier.

PREMIER WELLS: The member is entitled to his wrong opinion, and he is entitled to express it. I just disagree totally with him.

The Public Accounts Committee, as he said, functions very well. The government members on it are performing very well. I am very impressed with the Public Accounts Committee and leave it that way.

As to the opinion the member expressed, I think he is dead wrong and I have no hesitation in saying so.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

I have a question for the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture. I believe it was in January of this year that the minister received his report on the agricultural zone in the northeastern Avalon area, which was done last Fall by Mr. Simmonds. I wonder if the minister could inform this House when that report might be released and has he reviewed it and will he be releasing it in the near future?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right, I received the report from Commissioner Simmonds I think about mid-January. It is a fairly thick report, Mr. Speaker, there were a lot of observations made on the way the zone was administered over the last twenty years by the previous administration, a lot of recommendations. My officials have been perusing and studying the report and I can tell the hon. member that we will be dealing with it now, government will be dealing with it, and undoubtedly it will be released publicly sooner than later.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Speaker, he told the people, the committee, who are involved in this a month ago that it would be released sooner rather than later and it is getting too long now. Does the minister realize that the agricultural industry in that area is hampered in planning proper investment for the future? There is quite a bit of activity planned for that area on an environmental level by building proper storage facilities for manure pits, and all of that activity has been put on hold until the minister puts out his report so the farmers can see if they are going to continue farming in that area or will they have to shut their farms down and move off into some other agricultural area in the Province?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, with regards to people in the Goulds-Kilbride area or anyone affected by the land freeze in the northeast Avalon, the plans of people both in farming and and out of farming have been on hold for seventeen years, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FLIGHT: It has been going on for seventeen years, Mr. Speaker, a good many of which the hon. gentleman himself was the minister of the Department of Agriculture.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why the minister is so much against agricultural activity in the northeast Avalon, I do not understand that. It is his job to create the industry.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the hon. member to get on with the question.

MR. R. AYLWARD: God help this Province, Mr. Speaker, if that crowd ever gets any control over the fishery when we see what they are doing with agriculture. We were the only Province -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: - in Canada, for ten years -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: - who had broken the agriculture industry -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. R. AYLWARD: - and, Mr. Speaker -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member knows that on a supplementary there should be no preamble and he should get into the essence of the question, and the Chair has not yet heard the question. If the hon. member would kindly put the question.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I apologize.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister undertake to have this report tabled, even while you are looking over it, you do not have to say what you are going to do with it, just table it so that the farmers and the land owners in that area can get on with their lives?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture.

MR. FLIGHT: Mr. Speaker, one must remember that not only was the hon. member the Minister of Agriculture when most of the problems were created in the district, he was the member for the district, Mr. Speaker, and day after day his constituents did to him what they have been doing to me, coming in and pointing out the problems created by the way that zone was administered by the hon. gentleman. So, Mr. Speaker, I can tell the hon. member and the people of the northeast Avalon, that the government is dealing with that report in a timely way and I would expect, as they expect and as they have a right to expect, Mr. Speaker, that the report will be dealt with very quickly now and be tabled and released publicly so all the people in Newfoundland can see the way that the agriculture zone was administered by the previous administration.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay.

MR. HEWLETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. HEWLETT: Getting to your feet in Question Period these days is often something like being in a sprint or in a run in the Olympics, you have to be quick off the mark.

I have a question for the Minister of Transportation. The minister is aware that with regard to wood trucks, there are a lot of wood trucks -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. HEWLETT: - hauling wood, not wood chucks. You can make fun if you want but the wood truckers are not happy. They have a problem in that when they haul loads of wood out of the woods the wood can be green and wet, it can be dry and light, it can be encrusted with ice and snow, so they do not know if they are over weight until they hit the weigh scales. I put this to the previous Minister of Works, Services and Transportation in the House and he laughed at me. I put it to the current minister and he has written back to me saying that they are now going to do a pilot project. The people trucking the wood have been asking about this for two years so why has it taken two years to have a pilot project to do something as sensible as measuring a wood truck load by volume rather than by weight?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am aware of the difficulties being experienced by the -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I ask the minister to take his place, please. The hon. Member for Green Bay has put a serious question and hon. members should give the minister the courtesy of giving it the serious answer it deserves.

The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I am aware of the difficulties being experienced by the wood truckers in this Province. Government has taken their concerns to heart and as a result of taking their concerns to heart we had some consultation with the paper companies about the implementation of a volume loading system for wood as opposed to a weight loading system for wood. I would indicate, Mr. Speaker, that to my knowledge if this Province adopts a volume loading system for wood, a complete volume loading system for wood, we will be the only jurisdiction to have adopted such a system, so we are proceeding in a novel area where no other jurisdiction has even been prepared to consider proceeding.

In any event for some time consultation has gone on with the paper companies about the ramifications of volume loading and the paper companies, I will say, have expressed to me, and to my department, serious reservations about implementing a volume loading system. In addition, Mr. Speaker, as the Minister responsible for Transportation, I have to be concerned about the integrity of the highway system and overloaded wood trucks, or overloaded trucks of any kind, will cause more rapid deterioration of the pavement in this Province which will lead to increased capital expenditures as well as the safety issues associated with the loading of trucks.

So, Mr. Speaker, this government has committed that we will do a pilot study on volume loading. I believe the truckers have been selected and I believe the study is ongoing right now to determine if this is a feasible system, and if it is a feasible system then I have no doubt that government will give serious consideration to introducing that system to alleviate the problems of the truckers. Mr. Speaker, if we do so we will be the only jurisdiction in the country to do that, so this government has a high degree of concern for those people who are out there struggling to make a living in this Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Green Bay on a supplementary.

MR. HEWLETT: Mr. Speaker, what in heavens name is wrong with Newfoundland being first in something good in Canada for a change, pray tell? I fail to understand why the paper companies are heavily involved in this. It is the wood truckers who are being ticketed off the road because when they leave a woods road and go on the Trans-Canada they cannot be sure if they are under or over weight. I wonder, because of the number of people being ticketed literally out of existence in terms of their business, measuring wood by weight, is that not bringing in thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars to the treasury of this Province, and is that not the main reason why this government has been slow in moving on this matter?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation.

MR. GOVER: Mr. Speaker, what that member has said is utterly false, utterly and totally false. The revenues generated by penalties by overweight truckers are of no consequence to me as Minister of Works, Services and Transportation. Every trucker has an obligation to abide by the legal limit, to come in on the legal limit, to maintain the integrity of the highway system. Why has it taken so long? Mr. Speaker, we have to put this system into effect, if it can be put into effect, in a manner which ensures the viability of the pulp and paper industry in this Province. That is the reason why the companies are being consulted. What is the point of putting in a volume loading system if the pulp and paper companies go out of business, Mr. Speaker? There is no point whatsoever. We have to proceed in a manner which guarantees the viability of the workers in the mill and the truckers on the road and that is what we are doing, Mr. Speaker.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

After that weighty question and the weighty answer Question Period has expired

Before proceeding with our routine business, on behalf of hon. members, we would like to extend a cordial welcome to a couple of groups in the public galleries today. In the first group are fifty-eight Grades V and VI students from St. Mary's Elementary School, in the district of Waterford - Kenmount. They are accompanied by their teacher, Eric Hiscock, student assistant, Margaret Penney, and chaperones, Millie Hayley and Barbara Rousse.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: We also have students from the Seal Cove Campus, Conception Bay, accompanied by their instructor, Mr. Ed Power.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Presenting Reports by

Standing and Special Committees

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Finance.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present the annual report for 1992, of Newfoundland and Labrador Computer Services Limited.

Notices of Motion

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health.

DR. KITCHEN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act Respecting A Smoke-Free Environment In The Workplace And In Public Places In The Province".

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Justice and Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: This may be the end of the smoke-filled back rooms, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask leave to introduce a bill entitled, "An Act To Amend The Internal Economy Commission Act". Unless there be any misapprehension, this is the bill to reduce members' salaries, Mr. Speaker, which my friend, the Minister of Finance, spoke of in the Budget. We will be dealing with this before Easter, Sir.

Petitions

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Fogo.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from 648 residents of Fogo, Fogo Island, Tilting, Joe Batt's Arm and various other communities on Fogo Island. The petition is to the Members of the House of Assembly: 'We, the undersigned, are committed to the highest quality education for the children of our Province. We support Roman Catholic Schools and want to keep them. In the same way, we support the rights of others to have the schools they desire. We also support co-operation between the churches in education, especially shared service schools where they are needed. We do not want our rights and the rights of other people in our Province taken away, and we ask you, as our representatives, not to tamper with the rights we now have under the Constitution of Canada.

The petition is from, as I said, 648 residents of Fogo Island and, Mr. Speaker, Fogo Island was perhaps one of the guiding lights in educational reform in this Province, when it began back a number of years ago constructing one school to service an entire Island. An high school originally, it was a shared service school - shared between both the integrated and the Catholic denominations.

Seven or eight years later, Mr. Speaker, an elementary school was built, closing seven smaller schools throughout the Province. It has been a model, Mr. Speaker, that the rest of the Province can use to share as a kind of direction we can take in education. Mr. Speaker, what is happening in that system, is that while it is a shared service, all denominations preserve their rights that have been guaranteed under the Constitution of Canada and under the Terms of Union in 1949. This is a serious issue that has arisen in the past few days. Some of the problems, I believe, that have arisen, are the result of the approach that the present Minister of Education has taken in dealing with the denominational education system. I think, his bullish approach to it, and I use the word "bullish", Mr. Speaker, has perhaps set the wheels of shared service, which has been a very effective method of utilizing the dollars of this Province in educational advances - has set the wheels back years, Mr. Speaker, years and years, in fact. Because what we have now is total chaos out in the system as a result of the minister's response in the past few days.

The people who signed this petition are asking that the rights they have had for the past thirty or forty or fifty years be maintained. Because they recognise the vital role that the church has played in education in this Province. Initially, the churches supported the schools - in fact, built and financed them. It was only in recent years that the public purse has been used to finance education.

We have a good working model in Fogo, a school built in the center of Fogo Island serving the needs of every community on Fogo Island, both at the elementary and at the high school level. It is a model that we would do well to use for the entire Province. It works, it has worked well.

The attitude of the minister, I think, has been very detrimental in the past few weeks, and that is why we have, for the past number of days, been flooded in this House of Assembly with petitions requesting that rights that have been guaranteed under the Constitution be protected. We take little assurance from what we saw the other day here, because we know all too well how government uses its majority in this House of Assembly - we saw it with amalgamation, we see it with other issues - to use this Legislature, and perhaps the Legislature of Canada, to take away rights that were freely guaranteed to municipalities.

I support the people who presented this petition, because I believe we have the best working model in this Province of how a shared service should work. I am sure the former Minister of Education, the Member for St. John's North, appreciates that, having spent some time on Fogo Island and having known the situation as it existed when he taught school in Joe Batt's Arm a number of years ago, and can now look at the model that we have. We can hold up for scrutiny anywhere in this Province, the system that we have.

It is this present minister who wants to wreck, to throw away, all that we have accomplished in the past ten years because of his bullish approach to the kind of education that he envisions we should have in this Province. I think it is most regrettable.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: As a matter of fact, it is more than up.

The hon. the Member for St. John's North.

DR. WARREN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise and support the petition presented by the hon. the Member for Fogo. I have had a long personal association with Fogo Island. I remember the days when the communities couldn't even agree on a lot of issues. I remember the rivalry between Joe Batt's Arm and Fogo, itself.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

DR. WARREN: Well, they had rivalry between the communities. I remember one older gentleman - I was talking with him in Joe Batt's Arm at one point in time. He was saying that in Fogo they had the hospital, and they had the nurse, of course, the doctors, they had the RCMP. He said: 'They have the RCMP because they need them up there.' The rivalry was there. I remember when they discussed one school to serve various communities. They couldn't agree on a site, so another older gentleman, in a public meeting, asked: 'Why don't we put it on wheels and tow it back and forth?'

That kind of rivalry existed - but it dissipated, and now we have not only community co-operation but we have denominational co-operation. As the hon. member said, we have a model here which can be extended throughout the Province. In fact, I would give a little advice to the current Minister of Education, if I may. I would suggest that we need to put on record the success of Fogo Island and other areas as we move forward to extend that model to other parts of the Province. It has been a real success story for the people of Fogo Island and the people of Bay de Verde, Old Perlican, Plum Point, and many other communities in this Province. I think we need to put on record, perhaps on video tape, the success of these experiences so that we can distribute them to other parts of the Province.

Mr. Speaker, the people of Fogo Island should be congratulated. The early leaders - one of them is Mr. Cyril McCormick. Mr. McCormick is about to retire as deputy minister. He was instrumental, as the Superintendent of the Roman Catholic School Board, in developing that model - he and Mr. Hudson Davis, and the people, of course, of Fogo Island, itself.

So I would like to support the petition. I am pleased that the government is moving forward to implement the petition, that we have consensus with the churches on moving forward in this area, and I think it will mean quality education for more people in the Province.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Orders of the Day

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, could we address Motion No. 2 first, please, Sir?

MR. SPEAKER: Motion No. 2.

Motion, the hon. the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs to introduce a bill, "An Act To Amend The Municipalities Act," carried. (Bill No. 16).

On motion, Bill No. 16 read a first time, ordered read a second time on tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: (Inaudible). The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Alright, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

I am usually not inconspicuous, particularly when I am wearing my infamous tie.

MR. TOBIN: I was wondering when that was coming up.

MR. ROBERTS: I say to my friend from Burin - Placentia West that this tie is a very dear one, and I don't mean that in financial terms. My younger daughter made a trip to Europe last year, and that may or may not be the price element, but she brought this back as a souvenir, so I cherish it for that reason.

MR. TOBIN: It is a nice tie.

MR. ROBERTS: I thank my friend. Most people don't compliment me on my ties, but the gentleman from Ferryland had a crack at it the other night.

Your Honour, could we go into Committee of Supply on Interim Supply - 2.(a) on the Orders of the Day? Perhaps I could inform hon. members, my understanding is that we have now used four hours and nine minutes of the eighteen hours that remain to us under the supply formula set out in the rules of the House.

On motion, that the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole on Supply to debate Bill No. 12, Mr. Speaker left the Chair.

Committee of the Whole

MR. CHAIRMAN (L. Snow): Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to have a few words to say on Interim Supply, obviously. Yesterday, the Minister of Justice brought in an amendment, or I guess, a new Interim Supply bill, basically. In the changes that have been made, the reprint of that bill, it is my understanding that the bottom line still remains the same with $1,016,202,000.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) no changes.

MR. TOBIN: I know that. There are just some changes there, as he said when he introduced it, as it relates to the allocation of funding from the Legislative vote to the Department of Justice vote, which has some bearing on the Election act that has not been proclaimed, I guess.

MR. ROBERTS: Well, the Chief Electoral Officer had it moved back to Justice from the Legislature.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, we understand that.

While it is unfortunate that the government, who promised to bring in this new invention in terms of the Election Act, have decided at this point in time they are not ready to go with it and that we will operate under the old system for this election, I guess it doesn't place any more of a handicap on us than it does on them. We will certainly proceed under the old Election Act. Whether we are under the old act or the new, we intend to make sure that the people of this Province are offered a very legitimate alternative with regard to the prospect of electing a government. We feel very confident that the people will return us as the Government of this Province.

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Pardon? The Member for Eagle River -

MR. DUMARESQUE: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Same old gang? Mr. Chairman, there will be more of the gang over there than there will be the gang over here, I say to the Member for Eagle River. There will be more running over there from the present - the people will be offered more new faces from this side of the House than they will be offered from that side of the House when the election is called, I say to the Member for Eagle River. So, if it is the same old gang, well, then, the majority of the same old gang, fifty-two, will come from the Liberal side of the House.

AN HON. MEMBER: Won't be the same old faces.

MR. TOBIN: Well, they won't be the same old faces back here but the majority of them will have the same old faces going out there. In any case, Mr. Chairman, the Minister of Justice has said from time to time, the electorate will decide our fate and we will accept his judgement on that aspect of it.

Apart from that, when we get into the Interim Supply and the funding that this government has proposed to spend in various areas - we have concerns about all departments and we all speak for our own. I see the Minister of Fisheries here and I say to the minister, I have some grave concerns about his department, some very serious concerns. I will tell him why.

I have had several calls - I would like for the Minister of Fisheries to listen to what I have to say and probably he could. I have had several calls from constituents who owe money to the Fisheries Loan Board. I guess they got what you call the guaranteed loan. They went to the bank and it was supported by the Fisheries Loan Board. As a result of the hard times that they have fallen upon - and as the minister knows, last summer in certain parts of Placentia Bay there was a very poor fishery. These people have now applied to the Fisheries Loan Board for funding, or, I guess, to determine their eligibility under the plan you have brought in to pay the bank - to pay the interest on the loan, I believe, is what it us.

Anyway, the banks are knocking on their doors. Day-in and day-out the banks are coming to these fishermen asking them for the money. You know: We want your money, we are going to take your boat. As a matter of fact, lately, as I understand it, the banks have even been talking to people about having to do something with their homes. It is very serious. So they have made a request to the Fisheries Loan Board, some of them as long ago as three months, I say to the minister, to see if they would qualify under this program.

Now, as I understand it, there is a committee set up which includes the Department of Fisheries and Treasury Board officials who will sit down and determine the eligibility of these people. Three months have gone by. I have made some enquiries as to why the fishermen have not received a response, why they have not been told what is to happen, particularly with the harassment they are getting from the banks.

Mr. Chairman, I have been told that they haven't got around yet to having a meeting. After three months with the request on the desks of the Department of Fisheries officials, they cannot co-ordinate their schedules with Treasury Board. While this is happening - and I am sure the minister understands it - the banks are down. We all know what the banks can be like if they decide to go after somebody. They probably show the least amount of mercy of any organization or any group in the world when they decide to go after somebody. They are now here harassing people looking for the money. These fishermen - and I would be prepared to give the names from my constituency to the minister after, if he would have them checked out for me - have been waiting now for up to three months to try to get an answer back from the Department of Fisheries.

I don't think that's good enough, I say to the minister, that that should go on, and be allowed to continue.

AN HON. MEMBER: He agrees. Don't you, Minister?

MR. TOBIN: I think he does, I think he agrees. I really do. I say to him that while that was happening - and it is interesting enough that it was the morning of the Budget that I checked out the problems that have been in the Department of Fisheries for three months, or the Fisheries Loan Board - it was that morning, and that afternoon they announced there were five or seven or so, laid off down at the Fisheries Loan Board.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, I don't know - I am not saying that. I say to the Minister of Justice, I realize that, but what I am saying is that it was three months that they were waiting to do it and the Fisheries Loan Board told me that they hadn't had the time, they couldn't jibe their schedules with the Treasury Board people to make a decision as to whether or not they were eligible for the program, in terms of having the interest paid to the bank. Then they laid off five more people that evening. The banks and the minister have been -

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) Treasury Board.

MR. TOBIN: Being a lawyer, Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Minister of Justice knows how the banks can be rough on people when they want to be. Here is a fisherman who owes money

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I heard a fellow, a businessman, describing the banks one time, and he said they are something like the weather, when the sun is shining you can't get clear of them and when it starts to rain, they wouldn't give you an umbrella.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: He must be a lawyer for the bank. Imagine if they are loaning to people like me.

MR. ROBERTS: If they are, they are selling their shares (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I tell you, if you have shares in the bank - the Bank of Nova Scotia, I think, is the one I owe all the money to.

Anyway, let me say to the Minister of Fisheries, I would like for him to check that out and see if something can be done. Because people are being harassed by the banks, particularly when it comes to talking about their homes being on the line. That is very serious. And seven million dollars cut from the Fisheries Department's budget is something else.

Mr. Chairman, the Minister of Social Services is not here. Now, the Minister of Tourism and Culture: I don't have the opportunity to go through the Budget of that minister in great detail, but yesterday, my colleague from Grand Bank - I would say to the Minister of Tourism and Culture, if I could get his attention for a minute, we all know that last year the library boards in this Province had to close. The libraries had to close down for a certain period in this Province because of cutbacks. I have nothing against, as a matter of fact, I totally support, the people of Roddickton, in trying to have their crab plant open, but I would like to know how the Minister of Tourism and Culture can state in a letter: 'Dear Chris: I am pleased to be able to assist you with your feasibility study with a grant of $5,000.' Now, how the Department of Tourism and Culture can assist in a feasibility study on a crab plant, with $5,000 - I don't know how that could be done or what subhead it comes under or anything else, but I am sure the minister will have the opportunity in due course to explain that to the House. I know that my colleague from Grand Bank will probably be pursuing it further upon the thorough investigation he is going to be carrying out, that he is in the process today of carrying out as it relates to that situation.

Mr. Chairman, you see the Minister of Works, Services and Transportation today standing in this House ranting and roaring.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I say one thing to the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Transportation has done well since he was a poll captain for me back in 1985.

MR. ROBERTS: "While the light holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return."

MR. TOBIN: That is right.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) find the application signed by the hon. (inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well, Mr. Chairman, there are a lot of people, I will say to the Minister of Justice, a lot of people in this world who have had some immoral thoughts from time to time but they didn't proceed.

MR. GRIMES: I had an opportunity many years ago but I made a wise decision.

MR. TOBIN: I can tell the Minister of Justice that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations was almost ready to run for our party. Just in conclusion -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I am sure that if you want to talk about -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, if the Minister of Justice could remember when the Member for Port au Port ran for the Liberals, I can certainly remember when the Member for Fortune - Hermitage ran for the Conservatives. As a matter of fact, I went down and spent a few days in the district with him and I spoke at fund -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. TOBIN: As a matter of fact the polls showed up to that time he was behind in the district until I went down with him, and I remember the rally we had down in Terrenceville, I say to the Member for Fortune - Hermitage, I remember it well, when I went down and spoke at functions instead of the Leader of the Opposition who was then the Minster of Development I believe who was down on the other side of the district, so we have all been involved with these people over time, that happens. I remember when the Member for Baie Verte - White Bay was a Tory and it is not that long ago either. But I would say, Mr. Chairman, as a matter of fact, I remember when the Chairman was going to seek the nomination for the Conservatives but everybody changes from time to time but I do not think there is any chance that I would change or the Minister of Justice would change, but people do that.

I remember, I would say to some hon. gentlemen opposite, that a former Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Neary, I remember when I came in the House first, Mr. Neary used to look at us and he would say: anyone can get elected once, so that still stands, Mr. Chairman, anyone can get elected once. As a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, the Minister of Justice said he remembered when the Member for Port au Port ran for the Liberals, I wonder, does the Minister of Justice remember when he was Leader of the Opposition?

I want to say to the Member for St. John's South, I wonder, does the Minister of Justice -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, but I wonder if he remembers when the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs ran for the Tories down in Placentia?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Do you remember that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: The Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs ran for the Conservative party once upon a time -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Chairman, he would never fit in our party, the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, could not fit in our party. It was not -

MR. R. AYLWARD: He couldn't fit in a polling booth at the time.

MR. TOBIN: What is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: No. The Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs did not fit in with the plans for our party, he was rejected by the Tories in Placentia back in '71, Mr. Chairman, so it is fair to say that the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs, back then did not fit in our party. The Member for Burgeo - Bay d'Espoir, Mr. Chairman, for years, was very active in the Conservative party. He is not here and I wish he was here. Here he comes, he is coming in, Mr. Chairman, he is about to enter the room and when you talk about people being active in parties, for the Minister of Justice to say that he remembers when the Member for Port au Port ran for the Liberals, how could the Minister of Justice forget who was a former president of the Conservative party of Newfoundland and Labrador, how could he forget who ran for the leadership of the Conservative party of Newfoundland and Labrador and if he is not careful -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Minister of Justice.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, I will only be a second because the hon. gentleman for once is being entertaining and I am listening to him with interest, but he should know that in 1957 I was the second vice-president of the University of Toronto Progressive Conservative Club. Now I resigned from that post that fall when I put a motion before the Club which they did not accept. The motion was to censure John Diefenbaker who was then the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Prime Minister of Canada, over the Term 29 incident. I went into a club meeting and moved a motion as the vice-president and said: RESOLVED that the University of Toronto Progressive Conservative Club censure the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker for his treatment of what we then called Newfoundland. We now call it Newfoundland and Labrador. The club, not surprisingly, did not accept my motion although I did get a seconder, and I thereupon resigned, as I should have.

So I would say to my hon. friend that as my friend for St. John's Centre, who has also represented other districts for the Liberal Party, and will be re-elected in the centre, of course, that many of us take a little while to find the light, but I would again say to him in the words that Mr. Smallwood use to use, the old methodist hymn, and he is from the Burin Peninsula and would understand the Methodist tradition to be very strong down on the Burin Peninsula over the years, that while the light holds out to burn/the vilest sinners may return. It time that his eyes were opened and if so, brothers, ye too shall be saved.

I will now turn it over to my friend for the Strait of Belle Isle because I am getting into the territory that he occupies normally.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. ROBERTS: Well, I would say, Mr. Chairman, that if we took a vote on the other side, the hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West would be impelled across here like a rocket scientist, which is as close as he is ever going to get to being a rocket scientist, I hasten to add.

We have not talked of my friend the Minister of Fisheries. He and I were together on an airplane recently coming from somewhere to somewhere and comparing notes. He and I have been friends for many, many years. In fact he preceded me in White Bay North. In 1962 the gentleman for Twillingate was elected as the Liberal member for the old White Bay North seat which ran from Harbour Deep down to Raleigh. Then in the Fall of 1966 when the election came he did not seek re-election and I was nominated by the nomination process used in those days and in due course was elected. I got 85 per cent of the vote, and I say to my friend for the Strait of Belle Isle which now embraces most of that area, part of it is in Baie Verte - White Bay, that after I came back feeling not displeased with 85 per cent of the vote, somebody said: Roberts you only saw 15 per cent of the electorate did you?

Anyway, my friend the Minister of Fisheries and I were going somewhere recently, I forget where, but no doubt on the Queen's business together on an airplane and we were comparing notes. I guess the Naskaupi by-election was over and I had said, that is the seventh time I have seen my name on a ballot in the Province, three times in a leadership, twice successfully, and once with a little trouble on the fourth ballot, but I said that is seven times I have been returned to the House of Assembly. I said, Walter, how about you? He counted them. He had to figure out how many times he had been elected. He had to take his fingers and then he had to take off his shoe. He has been elected ten or eleven times, the hon. gentleman for Twillingate. To St. John's Municipal Council, to the House of Assembly for three separate constituencies, White Bay North, St. Mary's the Capes, and then Twillingate, then the House of Commons. I do not think there is another person in Newfoundland and Labrador who has sat at every level of government. He has been in two Cabinets.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible)

MR. ROBERTS: My friend for Burin - Placentia West cannot even let me have the line and my friend for Twillingate then looked at me and said, I have been there for almost every party.

There is a long history in the parliamentary tradition, Mr. Chairman, since we are on Interim Supply which covers all these matters. Churchill was elected to the British House of Commons for Oldham in the election of 1900. He was re-elected in 1904 and crossed the House to sit as a Liberal. In 1922 at the end of the Lloyd George Coalition Government, that administration, the Right Honourable Winston Churchill, as he had then become, rejoined the Conservative Party and in fact went into the Conservative Cabinet in 1924 as chancellor of the exchequer, in Mr. Baldwin's first Cabinet. Somebody attacked Churchill in the House and said, the hon. gentleman is a political rat. I do not know whether that is parliamentary in Westminster or not but words were said to that effect. Churchill who was a parliamentarian of infinite finesse and the ability to use the rapier wit - he was the man who once looked at the Prime Minister of the day, Attlee, and said: There is a sheep in sheep's clothing.

Somebody once said to Churchill, Aneurin Bevan, who was a great labour figure, 'Aneurin Bevan is his own worst enemy.' And Churchill growled, 'Not while I'm alive he isn't.'

AN HON. MEMBER: Anyway, what did they say about a rat?

MR. ROBERTS: He said: Anybody can be a political rat, but a political re-rat - that takes ingenuity.

Anyway, there has been a long tradition and this House is no more immune - I mean, I was elected with John Crosbie. I was at a conference recently on the mainland with a group of business people and political types and all that sort of stuff. My turn came to say a few words and we were all asked to give our cv's. I said: Look, I am a lawyer and a politician. I may look old and scarred, but I have been around so long I can recall when John Crosbie was a Liberal, which got a great laugh from everybody, except Bernard Valcourt did not think it was so funny, and Harvie Andre was not overwhelmed by it either.

In any event, Mr. Chairman, I commend these estimates to the House and I think we should get on with Interim Supply.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I found some of the comments by the Minister of Justice to be extremely educational. For example, he was in university in Ontario before I started in primary school.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well I never went to university in Ontario but I remember my days in university, back in 1971-'72, I guess. At that time there was myself, and the Member for Fogo was around; John Baker, the brother of the Minister of Finance, and Donna Butt. There was a whole group of us involved in the PC club at the university at that time. It was during the time that the Minister of Justice took the leadership.

I remember at that time taking time away from university to campaign with a great Newfoundlander by the name of John R. O'Dea who was running for the nomination up in Ferryland district. Fortunately he did not win it, but Tom Doyle won the nomination at that time.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: John R. O'Dea, yes. He ran for the nomination.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Right, and then in 1972 he ran for the Tory nomination again up in Ferryland district. I was involved with him, as was one of your learned friends, Frank O'Dea, who was probably a nephew.

We went up on the southern shore to try to get Mr. O'Dea nominated, and Tom Doyle won the nomination so I became involved with his election at that time -

AN HON. MEMBER: He lost in Twillingate in 1971.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, well he lost up the shore in 1975.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Well we all know there is a long history for Charlie and Tom on the southern shore. Then he went to Twillingate.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) Myles Murray's period.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, I remember that.

MR. ROBERTS: Myles and Peter Cashin were slogging it out.

MR. TOBIN: I remember that. I remember, as a matter of fact, when -

MR. ROBERTS: You don't remember that.

MR. TOBIN: Well -

MR. ROBERTS: You may have read about it. It was 1951.

MR. TOBIN: I remember Myles Murray being a Liberal and I remember when Aiden Maloney was a member - a great man, by the way, Aiden Maloney, I say to the minister.

MR. ROBERTS: Aiden and I came in 1966.

MR. TOBIN: Being from Ferryland district, from Trepassey, I say to the Minister of Justice, if you were not interested in politics up there, there was something wrong with you. As a matter of fact, my father goes back to the days of Peter Cashin.

MR. ROBERTS: And in those days Ferryland district went up to St. Shotts, and St. Mary's picked up there.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, St. Shotts.

MR. ROBERTS: And Dr. Jim was in St. Mary's district.

MR. TOBIN: I never met that man - I understand a very distinguished person, but I never met him.

On the southern shore, I tell you, they took their politics extremely seriously.

MR. ROBERTS: And were good at it.

MR. TOBIN: As I said, my father goes back to the days of Peter Cashin in the national referendum. He was involved in that campaign - not overly involved; but my first involvement in politics, even before I finished high school, was with the present Minister of Fisheries. I was a poll captain for him when I was not very old, I say to him.

MR. ROBERTS: Did you carry the poll?

MR. TOBIN: Yes we did. We carried it the first time ever, and we carried it -

MR. ROBERTS: An amazing tribute to the candidate.

MR. TOBIN: And we carried it -

I lived on a place called Daniel's Point. I do not know if -

MR. ROBERTS: I know, out in Trepassey - outside Trepassey.

MR. TOBIN: Talking about amalgamation, it took place many years ago before the amalgamation -

MR. ROBERTS: It is outside Trepassey.

MR. TOBIN: The priest -

MR. ROBERTS: Old Father Maloney?

MR. TOBIN: Father Maloney.

MR. ROBERTS: Maloney, yes.

MR. TOBIN: As a matter of fact, he told us that we had to amalgamate and there was no more question. That was it. If the priest said you had to amalgamate, you amalgamated. That is what took place, and that would have been back in 1966.

MR. ROBERTS: The election, the federal election? 1968.

MR. TOBIN: No, but I am talking about the amalgamation process.

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, it was before the -

MR. TOBIN: It was very interesting I say, as we talk about amalgamation here in this House, as we are talking about the Budget, it is very interesting what took place, there was Daniel's Point and Trepassey. Daniel's Point got a community council first, which my father was involved in and some other people, and they got the water system put in. Daniel's Point had a water system put into every house before there was one house hooked up in Trepassey. So, all of a sudden, Trepassey being the biggest place, they got a little bit jealous probably, a bit jealous that this suburb had it done. So, a group of people in Trepassey approached the Priest, they wanted something done about it. So, the Priest decided now the best way to deal with this is to call you all Trepassey. So, he met with the crowd, the council and the crowd, and he said you have to become one and that was in Myles Murray's days whenever that was.

MR. ROBERTS: Well, Myles was re-elected in 1966, no I am sorry, re-elected in 1962, Aiden ran in 1966 and Tom Doyle won the seat in 1973.

MR. TOBIN: No.

MR. ROBERTS: He lost the nomination in Ferryland.

MR. TOBIN: Aiden Maloney resigned then, didn't he?

MR. ROBERTS: Aiden resigned but there was no by-election. Aiden resigned in 1969 or 1970 and became president of the Saltfish Corporation.

MR. TOBIN: Okay, right. I remember John Nolan was the Liberal candidate -

MR. ROBERTS: John ran in 1971 for us in Ferryland. Mr. Smallwood ran in Placentia East.

AN HON. MEMBER: I did not know you two were the same age.

MR. TOBIN: We are not the same age but we have an interest in politics, both of us.

I remember that, and being involved in politics, I followed it, Mr. Chairman. I can remember as a matter of fact - I doubt if the Minister of Health remembers it - but I remember meeting the Minister of Health when he was involved in the leadership campaign back in -

MR. ROBERTS: For which Party?

MR. TOBIN: The PC Party, that was back in 1969.

MR. ROBERTS: When Frank came back?

MR. TOBIN: Yeah, 1969.

MR. ROBERTS: After they dumped Ottenheimer, when Frank came back.

MR. TOBIN: Yeah, in 1969 Frank came back and that is when the Minster of Health was involved in the leadership of the Conservative Party.

As I was saying earlier to my colleague from Fogo, when we were in university, our university days, when we hung out around. I remember Cabot Martin, at the time he was a professor, when he would come into our little club and give us advice and fortune, if you would listen to Cabot from time to time.

MR. ROBERTS: It is pretty frightening, is it not, to hear Cabot giving advice on politics?

MR. TOBIN: But they were very interesting days back in that period, probably more interesting than they have ever been since, I would say to the -

MR. ROBERTS: We have never had an election like the 1971 election. The whole Province was politicized. Astonishing -

MR. TOBIN: Yes, I have a story, I will not tell it here but I will tell the Minister of Justice a story some time as it relates to the leadership convention of the Liberals -

MR. ROBERTS: Were you there?

MR. TOBIN: - that is when he ran the first time.

MR. ROBERTS: And you were there?

MR. TOBIN: No, I was not there. No, no, no but I will tell you a story about it sometime. No, I will tell the story some other time. It is not the right time to tell it.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Oh go on boy tell it.

MR. TOBIN: No, something happened on the southern shore which I was party too, I say to the Minister of Justice, but they were great -

MR. R. AYLWARD: - do not tell that, you could go to jail, you would be right in jail in a week.

MR. TOBIN: What?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, oh yes. Although I remember then, little wallet's, the card carrying Liberal's, remember the little wallet's? You could flip them over.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: What is that?

AN HON. MEMBER: Would the person on the other side please vote.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Yes, yes, I remember well. As a matter of fact, I would say to the Minister of Justice that when he won the leadership convention the second time - he won it -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Right, and then the second time he won it was in -

MR. ROBERTS: 1974 and the third one we will not talk about.

MR. TOBIN: The night you won the leadership in 1974, I was in a hotel in Halifax with my colleague who is now the Leader of the Opposition -

MR. ROBERTS: Hotel where, when? He was a Liberal at that time.

MR. TOBIN: No, well I do not know what he was but he was with me in Halifax at that time or Sydney, I am not sure, we were at a Kinsmen convention actually. I phoned CBC -

MR. ROBERTS: Lundrigan was elected in 1975 in Grand Falls.

MR. TOBIN: I phoned CBC in Halifax to find out if they knew who won the leadership in Newfoundland and they told me that Mr. Roberts had won the leadership. So, I tell him that I followed his career somewhat as well but I would -

MR. ROBERTS: I must say I would rather have him where I can see him rather than behind me.

MR. TOBIN: I say to the Minister of Justice that the night he won it the third time - I was not the person that you should have worried about seeing behind you - I am not that person, I say to the Minister of Justice, your former colleague and probably your former seatmate, Bill Rowe, is the fellow -

MR. ROBERTS: No, I agree, the hon. gentleman -

MR. TOBIN: - and Steve Neary.

MR. ROBERTS: The hon. gentleman has always been upfront, and that's the way to be.

MR. TOBIN: That's right. Well, there's no doubt about that.

MR. ROBERTS: But the gentleman for Port au Port was a member of the fourth ballot club.

MR. TOBIN: Is that right?

MR. ROBERTS: So was the former premier, who then -

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Rideout.

MR. ROBERTS: - sat for Baie Verte - White Bay.

MR. WINSOR: Where's Beaton Tulk in that?

MR. TOBIN: By the way I

MR. ROBERTS: Yes.

MR. TOBIN: - can say to the Minister of Justice that my former premier, Mr. Rideout, from all of the time I've been around him, from all of the conversations I've ever had with him, he never said anything except in a very respectful way as it relates to the present Minister of Justice.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: I think he always stuck with you. Rough times and bad he was there with you.

MR. ROBERTS: He came into the House -

MR. TOBIN: When the Bill Rowes and Steve Nearys and Roger Simmons were ganging up on you -

MR. ROBERTS: Oh, no. Rideout was part of the fourth ballot club.

MR. TOBIN: What's that?

MR. ROBERTS: Rideout was part of the fourth ballot club.

MR. TOBIN: Yes, okay.

MR. R. AYLWARD: That's somebody you might see again, Bill Rowe.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I -

MR. R. AYLWARD: Yes, out in LaPoile for us.

MR. WOODFORD: In the 'Hall of Fame'.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I won't say it.

AN HON. MEMBER: You won't say what?

MR. TOBIN: What I was going to say.

AN HON. MEMBER: Say it boy.

AN HON. MEMBER: Are you getting shy all of a sudden?

MR. TOBIN: I wouldn't want to embarrass some of the members opposite.

Anyway, Mr. Chairman, to get on with it, myself and the Minister of Justice I guess became a little bit sidetracked.

MR. ROBERTS: I would say to my friend, those stories get tiresome. Because every now and then in the Cabinet these days someone says: why has this ever been done? I say: I can recall being in the Cabinet twenty-five years ago - and all I get is a groan.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, in conclusion just let me say to the Minister of Justice -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: - for one second, I say to the member. Another thing we have in common is that he was the first parliamentary assistant to the premier in this Province -

MR. ROBERTS: The job was created for me.

MR. TOBIN: The job was created for you. I had the distinct honour to serve in that post as well with Brian Peckford. I say again, having served as parliamentary assistant, having served in Cabinet, that I honestly believe that the most rewarding and educational experience that I've ever had in my political career - and it's not very long, it's twelve years - was the time that I served as parliamentary assistant to Brian Peckford. I thoroughly enjoyed that job.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for St. John's South.

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a few words. It was nice to see the Member for Burin - Placentia West so complacent, so laid back and so soft. It's nice to see that. I was away from the House for four days. I was down doing business on behalf of the minister, down in Kansas City.

MS. VERGE: Kansas City? What kind of business were you doing there?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: I was looking for a cook for the new dining room.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible) eleventh floor.

MR. MURPHY: I heard the Member for Humber East was doing her usual, resurrecting things that mean absolutely nothing. I enjoyed the Member for Burin - Placentia West this morning, giving us a little dissertation about his political background. It's too bad it has to end so soon. Sad. That's the way life goes, I suppose. He's a nice gentleman and he was a good member. He worked hard on behalf of his constituents. As a matter of fact he's done better off of this government than he ever did off his own government. Exceptionally good.

MS. VERGE: (Inaudible) Tom Murphy for his campaign now.

MR. MURPHY: That's all right, he can use it. I don't know that it'll help him. If he doesn't spend some time in his own district and stay away from Hermitage he might find that he's going to lose two seats instead of one. Because he's wasting his time in Hermitage. Totally wasting his time. He knows it. But then he was a little nervous. The word is, Mr. Chairman, he was a little nervous that if he didn't say: Kathy, you run for us against Oliver, that Kathy might have run in Burin - Placentia West for the big red machine.

So he talked Kathy into going up the road, then he said: I'll go up and help you. But he also - remember the time he told ex-premier Brian Peckford: don't worry, Brian, I'll help you? I hate to bring up the bus incident again. 'That's the welcoming committee, Mr. Premier, there they are.' Peckford said: what are they holding the guns for? He said: that's to welcome you. Peckford said: why are they pointing them at me? He said: don't worry about that, that's nothing, they're blanks.

I can remember, because the tape was on t.v. not long ago. We all remember - and of course the hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West was stood up like this. There was a good friend of mine, a co-worker from FPI, Mr. Stockley, was there and he was giving it to Premier Peckford.

I happened to see a piece of material last night that - I don't know where it came from but it would seem to me that it's election material.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Election material?

MR. MURPHY: Yes. It's got very interesting colours, blue and green. It says: putting PCs first. No, they've done that for seventeen years. I think it says: putting people first. This House has been open now, I ask my colleague for Eagle River, three weeks?

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thirteen days.

MR. MURPHY: Thirteen days. For thirteen days, Mr. Chairman, we have heard the squabblings and the squeals from the Member for Kilbride about silly doorknobs and about a piece of secure material that the minister for - and openly - had to buy to look after documents.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible)!

MR. MURPHY: I say to the Member for Fogo, he should ask his colleagues who were ministers in the previous administration how much money they spent. So what do they do? They sit here and they ramble. People have asked - the Leader of the Opposition was on yesterday morning, and I was winging my way home, but I found out last night - because I have tremendous informants - that he was on yesterday morning trying to defend - no, he didn't try and defend. He said: wait till the time comes and we will tell the people of Newfoundland and Labrador what our plans are.

The House is open thirteen days, they haven't offered one single solitary solution. Not one. Now this is the clique, this is the gang, that got this Province in the terrible economic state we find ourselves in. You people. The Member for Humber East, she was the Minister of Education, she was the Minister of Justice. Now day after day she stands in the House and she gets on with: how come you're not doing this? Nine years she was a minister.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: How many? Ten. Now she informs me ten. Done absolutely nothing for the people. Only borrow, give it to her, downstairs, private dining rooms, all kinds of dining rooms. All kinds of chefs, booze, cigarettes, bills flying around the place, all over the place.

I don't blame my friend for Kilbride for getting up and getting on with his foolishness. He's going. He's not going empty-handed, I heard. I heard that news while I called up. I heard they're taking $28,500 each with them.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Yes, that's right.

MR. MURPHY: There's the bunch that has the concern for the people of the Province.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: I was down in Kansas City trying to get a few jobs for the people in my district. The hon. member knows what that's like. How did he feel when Marystown got widdlywooed and turned over? You know what it's all about. I'll go to the end of the world, I'll go into outer space, if I can get fifty or sixty jobs. So would the member. So he should. He knows it.

MR. TOBIN: Point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West on a point of order.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, there's no need for the hon. Member for St. John's South to get irritated because I asked him. I commend him for going to Kansas City to try to get jobs for the workforce. But I wonder would the government do the same thing for me? Will they send me to Norway to try to get money for the workforce at the Marystown Shipyard?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible)!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

There's no point of order.

The hon. the Member for St. John's South.

MR. MURPHY: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Now I want to remind the Member for Burin - Placentia West - I hate to bring up this story - but remember the $14 million shrimp trawler. Fourteen million dollars worth of work.

MR. DUMARESQUE: That could have been at Marystown.

MR. MURPHY: Somebody told me down on the Burin Peninsula, he said: the advice our member gave was, stand fast, hold the line. What happened?

MR. DUMARESQUE: Went to Norway.

MR. MURPHY: That's right. The shrimp trawler for FPI was built in Norway and we lost $14 million worth of work. This is the member who gets up talking about Norway. He wants to go to Norway.

AN HON. MEMBER: He didn't really give them that advice?

AN HON. MEMBER: He did. He wants to go to Norway so he can send more work over there.

MR. MURPHY: Yes. He should go to Norway, Mr. Chairman. I am waiting, as the people of this Province are waiting, to hear from hon. members opposite, who have unbelievable experience in government, who know how to borrow like nobody else ever borrowed. They were in seventeen years, seventeen years I tell the Member for St. John's North. There has been twenty-three years in the first administration, four in this administration for twenty-seven. That is ten years longer, and these folks borrowed 70 per cent of the provincial debt, and they have the gall to stand up and talk about doorknobs, and the gall to stand up and talk about warrants. I suppose it makes good copy if the media jumps on it and likes it, but you know what really is a fact, the people in Newfoundland and Labrador can see them for what they are, but we are waiting, we are waiting with bated breath, Mr. Chairman, to hear about putting people first - what is the slogan, putting PCs first?

MR. DUMARESQUE: Yes, that is it.

MR. MURPHY: Putting PCs first. All the campaign literature is printed now, it is all ready, putting PCs first, I understand all their stuff is done. Putting people first -

AN HON. MEMBER: Putting PCs first, the sequel.

MR. MURPHY: Oh the sequel, that is right. Putting PCs first. Now can you imagine asking the people of this Province to put ye crowd back in?

AN HON. MEMBER: Don't the put people first anymore?

MR. MURPHY: What? I know they are upset and you cannot blame people for being upset. They have a standard of living and everybody knows where the government is, they have a standard of living and the government just cannot give them any more money, just cannot.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Just a couple of minutes to clear up?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

MS. VERGE: No leave.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Does the hon. member have leave?

No leave?

MR. MURPHY: Okay, that is alright.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, if it was not so serious I would make a few comments on it, but what the Member for St. John's South just got on with, in a Province today that is just about closed up, Mr. Chairman, I think the truth and hope of the Budget that the minister just brought down probably could be summed up in a statement that someone told me a couple of days after the Budget was brought down, he said the only way to describe what this government is doing, is to advise the last person who leaves the Province to turn off the lights and shut the door. Mr. Chairman, that is what this Budget is doing for our Province and it is no wonder the Member for St. John's South was down in Kansas City looking for jobs for his constituents, because they will have to go to Kansas City as there are no jobs around here, the government is doing nothing in this Province to create jobs, actually they are doing just the opposite, to do away with jobs.

Now of all the important issues that are happening in this Province today, the Member for St. John's South has to get up and get on with his tripe, his political rhetoric and tripe, and never mentioned one substantive issue concerning the bill we are doing now, Interim Supply, or the Budget which is all tied into the one. One very important issue that you should have mentioned, because it affects your district, I do not know if you were aware of it or not when you were down in Kansas City, if anybody told you that it affected your district, but the Day Break program in this Province, Mr. Chairman, affects your district.

Now, I do not know if you know that or not, but I knew it when I was representing most of your area, I knew it when I was representing Shea Heights that the Day Break program affected your district and every other district around this area in St. John's, and it was a very important and helpful program that was doing some good, and if anyone at all looked at the program itself, and if anyone had any thought for the future of our Province or for the future of individuals who go through the program, which is more important, if anyone looked at that for five minutes they would not be able to cancel the program. Even if you are looking at it on an economic basis, even if you are a cut and slash government like the government that is here now, you should be able to look a bit further into the future, past your next election, is what you have to do, if you're going to be good government.

The Premier is pretty good at telling us about his economic development commission or whatever you call it. Doug House's commission, and the recovery commission, I think it was. These were long-term plans that we were setting up for the benefit of our Province in the long-term. That's what he was supposed to be doing. Actually they're doing very little. But if his plan, supposed plan, is put in place, he's looking to the long-term.

What does he do with a social program - a program that the people on that side thought involved a group of people with no power, involved a group of people who couldn't fight back, that's the reason they cut it. They thought these people would not fight back. So they said: we'll cut that out and save a few thousand dollars today. In ten years time when the problems occur because we do not have this program in place, in ten years time when we have to spend more money on trying to help people who should have been helped at a younger age, this government won't be around. They'll have washed their hands of it and walk away from it.

Another thing this government, and our government actually, were trying to do with our health care system - it's too bad the Minister of Health is not here now - we were trying to get to provide the most efficient health system that we could for the money we had. That was a plan, both education and health, of ours, and supposedly of that government.

What we tried to do was get people out of hospitals quickly and provide a home care service which was saving thousands and thousands of dollars in our hospital system. It was cheaper to treat people at home, to try to help them at home, after they got out of hospital, so they wouldn't have to stay in hospital for so long and cost thousands of dollars. Mr. Chairman, this government is cutting the home care program because it's getting too expensive. I don't understand the logic. So if you cut the home care program you're going back to the same problem you had ten years ago when people were staying in hospitals longer. What you decided to do was throw them out of hospital the day of their operation and cut the home care program, the result of which will be drastic to a lot of people.

To get back to the Day Break program, this government figured they were a powerless group. They weren't a very strong lobby. They're not going to cause us too many headaches if we cut them completely out. We'll say that we'll distribute the young people in the system to other daycares, which is impossible. Any expert, anyone who's involved with the Day Break program will tell you there's not enough capacity around to put these other children into the other daycare centres. If you listen to people like Patricia Burry, president of Newfoundland and Labrador Daycare and Pre-school Owners and Operators Association, the volume of children at Day Break would not feasibly be absorbed in daycare centres in and around St. John's.

This person is an expert in the business. She is the president of the Association which governs the daycare. This person's advice should be listened to, at least. If not heeded, that person should be listened to. That person says it can't be done. So who is the expert on that side of the House who says it can be done? Where's the counter-argument to what Patricia Burry has said in a letter that was distributed to all MHAs?

I doubt very much if anyone on the other side even looked at this. The day it came in the mail this was thrown in the garbage. Nobody over there looked at it. Especially the Member for St. John's South. It was in the garbage before he came back from Kansas City, I'd say. Made a phone call back and said: get rid of the junk mail and just leave the cheques and the expense account cheques there so that I make sure I get my $25,000 or $35,000 in expenses again this year.

Listen to Dr. Carole Peterson, chairperson of the board of Memorial's child care facility. She states unequivocally that the services of Day Break are both unique and critically important. Now if an expert, such as Dr. Carol Peterson, would say that, where is the counter-argument? Who over there can give me an argument to say that this expert's advice is wrong? That's all I want to hear. That's what I'd like to hear before I pass an Interim Supply bill that has not a nickel for Day Break in it.

Mr. Chairman, if we listen to Mary Goss-Prowse, Director, Newfoundland and Labrador Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association: 'I cannot believe your government would choose to hurt children and families, for the most part, who are hurting already.' Now, what member on that side of the House of Assembly can read that and say they made the right decision? There is nobody over there who could read it and say they made the right decision, not a member, not even the Minister of Education who is the most ruthless person over there. He couldn't even read that statement and say they have done the right thing. I am sure the Member for Eagle River couldn't read it and say they are doing the right thing. So they either didn't read it or they are just ignoring it. Maybe they are more heartless than I think they are, Mr. Chairman. If we listen to Christine Maclean, Co-Chairman, Association of Early Childhood Educators in Newfoundland and Labrador, another person who should be an expert in the field of early childhood development, a person who is involved in the system - what does Christine Maclean say? 'On behalf of the Association of Early Childhood Educators from Newfoundland and Labrador, which represents approximately 200 professional early childhood educators from the Province, I am writing to express my shock at your government's decision to close Day Break Parent Child Centre.' Here is another expert who represents 200 professional people who work in that business, who have done the studies, put in the training, and put in the practical experience to understand what is needed in that industry, what is needed in early childhood development. That expert says she is shocked that you would do this. Now, how can any member on this side of the House seriously say that they have made the correct decision by cancelling the Day Break program when they have such overwhelming evidence that they have made the wrong decision?

Now, the Member for St. John's South should have been up in the House of Assembly the last ten minutes pleading with his government to reinstate the Day Break program. That is what he should have been speaking about, not the garbage that he got on with, whatever it was, his huffing and puffing. That is all you hear in the House of Assembly when he stands up, a lot of noise and very little content.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

The hon. the Member for St. John's South.

MR. MURPHY: The Member for Kilbride obviously doesn't quite understand, and perhaps if he would look at the Estimates again he will see that in home care there is an additional $1 million put in there by the Minister of Health. Now, that is in that department. He then gets on with his insulting rhetoric towards me. It doesn't make any difference to me. While he was speaking, I wrote a little something I thought might be appropriate: "The Member for Kilbride rose to speak/He spoke in quiet reverence/The poor were on his mind, he said/ And not his whopping severance."

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: Read it again.

MR. MURPHY: "The Member for Kilbride rose to speak/He spoke in quiet reference/The poor were on his mind, he said/And not his whopping severance." He can say that I am getting on with gobbledygook. The hon. member knows that never in the history of this Province have we been faced, through real recession not created in this Province, with so many people on social assistance, and never have we had the strain that we do now.

MR. R. AYLWARD: You are proud of that.

MR. MURPHY: Well, it is not a case of our being proud of it. I suggest to the hon. member that Nova Scotia, where there is a Tory government, has never had as many people on social assistance. The Province of Ontario, where my learned friend from St. John's East is - oops! I was looking for an article - that is my briefcase.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DUMARESQUE: Sixty-seven dollars at Woolco.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's right.

MR. MURPHY: It is a pity the Member for St. John's East is not here, because we still have not heard one single solitary word after putting PCs first over there, to tell us what they are going to do with the economy of this Province when they face the electorate, not a word, not a sentence, nothing.

DR. WARREN: All these serious issues that face them.

MR. MURPHY: Exactly, all these serious issues. If they think that the people of this Province, the people in this building, the school teachers, the nurses, and everybody else are really impressed with the Opposition and their silly rhetoric about doorknobs and other things, then they are wrong. They are dead wrong.

People are too smart. They should give Newfoundland people a little more credit. 'Austerity on the way, Rae says.' I saw a sign, I tell the hon. member, a billboard in Ontario - a huge billboard that said: 'Buffalo's Man of the Year - Bob Rae.'

MS. COWAN: Who is he?

MR. MURPHY: The Premier of Ontario. 'Buffalo's Man of the Year' up on a billboard.

MS. VERGE: Why don't you talk about Day Break?

MR. MURPHY: I can talk about Day Break. I can tell you, if you look backwards over the ten years of administration from 1989 to 1979, when the hon. the Member for Humber East was the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Education, and she sat in Cabinet and made Cabinet decisions associated with an aircraft - does this government have an aircraft any longer?

AN HON. MEMBER: No.

MR. MURPHY: What did we do with it?

AN HON. MEMBER: Sold it.

MR. MURPHY: How much was the aircraft?

MR. SULLIVAN: I don't know, I wasn't here.

MR. MURPHY: The Member for Ferryland wasn't around any more than I was. Let's talk about a little bit of austerity. You had downstairs, and this hon. member went down and sat down, and if she didn't, let her stand and deny it - and had, day-in and day-out, the best wine, the best liqueurs. She watched the Member for Burin - Placentia West light the best cigars, cigarettes, and she has the gall to talk about daycare in 1993. She could have saved enough in three months to pay for all the daycare in this Province for a whole year - never did it.

Remember the dastardly story we have over here on Torbay Road.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Well now, the hon. member is over there shaking and shaking and getting on. He doesn't like it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Oh, no. He can stand in his place and ask questions, trying to embarrass the government over silly little things, but what does he do when we bring something back to him? He does not like it. He doesn't want to take it. He doesn't want to hear it.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: No, you don't want to hear it.

MR. DUMARESQUE: He can give it, but he can't take it.

MR. MURPHY: That is right. You know that putting PCs first is going to catch up with you. You have done it for seventeen years, and the time is here. The time has arrived. The people will not support you.

MS. VERGE: Where do you stand on Day Break?

MR. MURPHY: Where do I stand? I would love to see every community in this Province, if this government had the funding, provide daycare centres for all those who needed it.

MS. VERGE: What about St. John's Day Break?

MR. MURPHY: I totally support it. The hon. member knows that the only opportunity somebody up here gets to express their opinion is in caucus. She knows that, I don't need to tell her. I will go on the record as saying that I support the daycare centre.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: I don't have the finances, but five of your colleagues are walking out of here with $130,000 as soon as the election is called, I tell the Member for Fogo. Why doesn't he stand up and ask his colleague - why don't you go to your caucus and tell your people to leave the money behind them?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: Oh sure, be foolish. I am foolish. When I tell him the truth he doesn't like it. And I tell the Member for Humber East that I support the daycare centre, but I am a realist. We don't waste any money over here. You have tried, with your -

AN HON. MEMBER: Tell her to go give her husband another contract (inaudible).

MR. MURPHY: No, I am not getting into that. I am not getting into the family issue at all. I am not going to get into it. I refuse to get into it; but I remind the member, and I know, and she knows I know, that we can go dig up the log book when they had the aircraft, on the same day from Deer Lake to St. John's, St. John's Deer Lake, with shopping junkets, and how much that cost the taxpayers of this Province.

So don't get on with this putting PCs first situation. Putting PCs first is going to get you guys nowhere. The people of this Province understand that this Province is in very serious financial difficulty, and I think the people of this Province understand who created and generated that financial problem - not this government. We have been four years mending financial fences, through no fault of our own. And what are the hon. members doing? They stand up and get on with silly statements like: 'The Premier said he was going to bring every mother's son home,' and other such junk. It is time for them, as the Loyal Opposition, to be responsible, stand in their places and tell the people of this Province what they are going to do, instead of putting PCs first. They did it for years. They put this Province in the hole beyond the capability of this government, and I ask members opposite, if we are looking for $50 million on current account, and going to the bond markets of the world, we don't sell it, we don't get $50 million, then what happens in this Province?

Basically, we are now bankrupt, bankrupt, but the members opposite would want us to borrow $120 million, or do what Mr. Rae is doing, 'Austerity on the way' - Rae; 18,000 civil servants in Ontario, the 'have' province, the province that this Province depended on for years to get transfer payments. When you people were in government - $800 million more than this government has today. So, when my friend from Kilbride gets up, he should remember that: "The Member from Kilbride rose to speak/He spoke in quiet reverence/The poor were on his mind, he said/And not his whopping severance."

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, once again we have the Member for St. John's South standing in this House and saying absolutely nothing substantive, when he has before his own eyes the evidence of experts from this Province, experts in the Daycare Early Childhood Development field, who tell us that the decision of government is wrong, totally wrong. They are unanimous when they say it. Now, Mr. Chairman, the government say they needed to save money. They had to save money, so they cut the Day Break program. But if we look at it, if they had done any studies - and this is a prime example of what a government does when it acts with knee-jerk reactions, when they decide at the last minute they are going to cut this and cut that, cut another million dollars, everywhere throughout the system, without doing any kind of a study as to what effects they are going to have.

Now, they cut the Day Break program, which is a program - and the Premier didn't even know this, which I find strange, because, technically, really, it is his Budget. He is the one who should be making all the decisions on the Budget, but the Premier didn't even know when he answered the question on Day Break that it was a 50-50 cost-shared program. Fifty cents of every dollar that went into that program was Federal Government money. So they going to cut out the program and the best they can do is save fifty-cent dollars, because they are going to lose fifty cents back to Ottawa, they saved them fifty cents. These are the people the Premier is always fighting about, saying they don't send enough money to Newfoundland; they are cutting back on transfer payments; our equalization has been cut by so much per cent, I hear him saying that every time he is on television; then he cuts a program that saves Ottawa fifty cents on every dollar that was in the program. It doesn't make the least bit of sense in the world.

Now, Mr. Chairman, the other fifty cents, we assume, is provincial taxpayers' dollars. A lot of that fifty cents, you could assume, would be going to wages, to hire the people - twenty people was it? I can't remember how many.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Well, the people who worked at Day Break, how ever many people worked at Day Break, a good part of that fifty cents went to their salaries, so whatever salaries they were making, they are paying back between 20 per cent and 30 per cent on income tax. So, out of the fifty cents we thought we had saved in our provincial share of that money, we are going to lose the income tax. You have 20 per cent of that back, anyway, the minimum of that fifty cents, we got twenty cents of it back in income tax. We got another fair portion of it back in retail sales tax, so that is another - well we will say 7 per cent out of the twelve.

So we had fifty cents now that we were supposed to save money on cutting out the Day Break program. We have saved the federal government fifty cents right off the bat, which we would have gotten a share of that for income tax, too, by the way. We have lost the income tax of the people who were working there. We have lost that 20 per cent, so we are down to saving around thirty cents now - twenty-five or thirty cents. We have lost any retail sales tax that those people might have paid when they spent their earnings - spent their wages. So we are down to saving about thirteen cents on the dollar - maybe twenty cents - probably around thirteen to fifteen cents on the dollar. This is the decision that this government made to say this is a wise decision and this is going to get us out of debt. Some time in the future this will cut our current account deficit by saving thirteen cents on the dollar to close down Day Break.

What are the costs going to be in ten years time, I wonder? Will the cost be less than thirteen cents on a dollar that we are going to have to spend on people who will need more help, and people who would have benefitted immensely now by having the program open? What is going to be the cost in a few years time for those people? It will be a cost that we will not want to calculate when the time comes.

Now the hon. Member for St. John's South said that members on this side are standing up and not saying what they will do when they get elected. If I was running again, the first thing I would do if elected, and we formed government, I would, and I will - even though I will not be running - be advising the new Premier, Premier Simms, when he comes, that the first thing he should do is reinstate the Day Break program. That would be the first thing I would do if I was coming back here. The very first thing I would do is reinstate the Day Break program, because it has been in this Province - I think it was established almost twenty years ago. It has run for twenty years, helping all the people who go through it. If it had helped only one it would be worth the money - only one if they had help - but they helped all the people who went through the program, for twenty years. They actually brought money into our Province - money that we would not have gotten otherwise. They brought fifty cent dollars in from Ottawa, which the Premier is also complaining about is not sending enough money down here.

Mr. Chairman, we are not going to save anything more than a thirteen or fifteen cent dollar by cutting it out, or we will be spending a thirteen cent dollar if we kept it. So for the investment that we would make in the people who would go through the program, do you not agree that it would be the right decision to continue the Day Break program? It would be the correct thing to do. What odds about the political fallout of changing your mind. You did not expect that there would be such resistance, because you figured that the people involved in the program would just make a bit of noise for a day or so and then they would die out. You know the one, when this decision was made, who should have actually quit her job as a Cabinet minister when this decision was being made - the Minister of Environment and Lands. That is the person who should have resigned. If anyone on that side, even more so than the Minister of Social Services, if there was someone on that side who should have stood up to keep this program in place, she should understand, as an educator in our Province, the value of this program.

MS. VERGE: Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

MR. R. AYLWARD: She is the minister responsible for the Status of Women. She is the person who is the educator in this Province. She is the person who used to be President of the NTA of our Province, and yet she sits there silently when one of the most valuable early childhood development programs in our Province is just being thrown in the garbage. I do not understand how she can do it. I do not understand how the Minister of Labour can do it. He is an educator also, but he was probably tied up at the time trying to write his apology to the Premier and the Minister of Education, so he was preoccupied; but the Minister of Environment does very little else. She gets her picture in the paper every now and then at cocktail parties or whatever I saw her at last week.

She does not have very much more to do and she is the one who should have been fighting tooth and nail to keep this program open. Now I do not know if she is so politically narrow-minded that she said well, there is none in Conception Bay South so there should not be one in St. John's, that is the Premier's answer, there is none in the Bay of Island's so there will be none in St. John's. The Member for St. Barbe, saying there is none in St. Barbe, so there should be none in St. John's. There is no Day Break Program in the Strait of Belle Isle District, so there is none in St. John's. That is the logic that they use to cancel it. They did not save any money they just did it on a strictly political basis.

We do not have a member on that side from the St. John's area with enough guts to stand up and say no, we are not going to close it. We do not have a Cabinet Minister on that side in the Cabinet room, with enough conviction to be able to stand against the Premier and a few of the people that say, we do not have the program, so you do not have it. They never had the stomach to stand up to them and say we want this kept open and if you do not keep it open - if there was anyone over there who thought with a bit of logic, it is not hard to figure out. It was not hard to figure out that you are not saving any money by doing it.

The Member for Pleasantville still sits over there and supports it, he will vote for this Budget if we ever get around to voting for it, he will vote, Mr. Chairman, for closing the Day Break Program. He is a St. John's member, he is one of the members who's constituents benefit by this program, we all benefit by the program regardless. If we help one young person anywhere in Newfoundland, the whole Province benefits, we all know that, that is motherhood. Yet, we can see a government come in here and to save a few bucks, save about thirteen-cent-dollars, that is what they are saving. The rest of it - they are giving money back to Ottawa, fifty cents to the dollar they are going to give back to Ottawa. The Member for Pleasantville is the one who is always whining about Ottawa's transfer payments being cut down and now he is a part of cutting a program that is going to save Ottawa fifty cents on every dollar that the program costs. It does not make the slightest bit of sense to me.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible) you better watch that your pension does not get cut.

MR. R. AYLWARD: If my pension gets cut or my severance gets cut, Mr. Chairman, I will be here until the day before the election, now, I guarantee you that. If you think I am in here, if I am motivated by money, if you believe that and if that is why you are in here, get out of here. You should not be in here if money is your motivator, your district should be your motivator, your constituents should be your motivator and if the severance pay goes out, Mr. Chairman, it goes out. I cannot control that and I do not worry about it. If it is there, Mr. Chairman, when we all retire, anyone who does not want it does not have to take it. The Minister of Education can stand up here now when he is defeated because of the scandal in the Roddickton fish plant in the next little while, Mr. Chairman, I do not know but he will be in jail over that one before it is all over.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Minister of Education.

MR. DECKER: Mr. Chairman, if I go out of here with a full pension, I will not be taking severance. I challenge the hon. member to make the same statement.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, if I go out of here with a full pension, I will not take severance.

AN HON. MEMBER: Good.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I get 60 per cent of my salary and that is not a full pension.

MR. TOBIN: You walked into that one Decker, you walked into that one.

MR. R. AYLWARD: That is exactly what the member was saying.

MR. TOBIN: Now, he said it, now he said it.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Now, I said it, what is the big deal?

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) he is wasting time in the House.

MR. R. AYLWARD: I will come down to the penitentiary and visit you -

MR. DECKER: Point of order, Mr. Chairman.

If I go out of here with a pension, I will not take severance. I challenge the hon. member to make the same statement.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Kilbride.

MR. R. AYLWARD: Mr. Chairman, I will be living around here, if I got to go down to the Pen to visit him because of the scandal in Roddickton, I will do it. I will give him that promise. I will bring him down some gifts and maybe a bit of food, that I will buy out of my severance package, Mr. Chairman. I will spend some of it on him, Mr. Chairman. But it is like the Member for St. John's South seems to be pretty worried about, it is $28,000 just to make it clear, it is $28,000 and I will take it if it is there without a doubt but the Member for St. John's South, in the three years that he has been in here, in the district that is next to mine, I worked fourteen years to build up a $28,000 severance, the district that is right next to the District of Kilbride, my expenses are $6,000 per year and the Member for St. John's South expenses are $28,000 per year. Now, there is something wrong with that, he has gotten a severance package every year since he came into this House, every single year, he will have fourteen times my severance- well, no he will not have it because he will not be around, and most members over there will never have to worry about what they will have to do with their severance package. They will never have to worry about it because they will never be here long enough to see it.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I will tell you how much you are saving by cutting down Day Break. You are saving thirteen-cent dollars and you will get up and talk about what a great decision it is to close down the Day Break program in this Province and affect your constituents. You will get up and tell me what you are doing on that side of the House to save the Day Break program. You tell me what you are going to do to keep that program open. You tell me what you are going to do to keep a program that existed in this Province for twenty years -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Did you cut that out to give me my severance, is that why you cut it out? Is that why you cut it out?

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. R. AYLWARD: Is that why you cut it out? Of course not. Mr. Chairman, we have other experts in the field who have commented on the closure of Day Break; we have Mary Coleman, Fisher Children Centre, Corner Brook. Now this is a person from Corner Brook who made a comment on the closing. Day Break is a model in the community, a model of community, families and early childhood education helping each other.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave?

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am prompted to rise in this debate again today to discuss this issue and you know, we are living in hard economic times. We are living in very difficult economic times, we are living in a situation where we have to deal with much less than we have had a year before. We are living in a time when we have had some $500 million less from the federal government than what we have today.

Mr. Chairman, we are living in a time when we are looking for real leadership; we are living in a time when we expect the members of the House of Assembly who are duly elected by the people to carry the torch, to say to the people of this Province that we are going to put you first before our own parochial, narrow, financial interest, that is what we are asking for. There is a call in this Province today to politicians for real leadership and what we have here today is a situation where half-a-dozen members opposite have qualified for anywhere from $55,000 to $65,000 in pensions. $55,000 to $65,000 in pensions for the rest of their lives, those are the facts, those are the facts. But in addition to that we have a situation today through the stroke of their own pen just a few years ago, through a stroke of their own pen, through a Memorandum of Cabinet that was signed by the Member for Humber East, that was signed by the Member for Mount Pearl, that was signed by the Leader of the Opposition, that was signed by the Member for Burin - Placentia West, which said we are going to change the severance package. That is what was done.

MR. TOBIN: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West, on a point of order.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, probably the member does not know but it is very important that what he says in here be truthful and the statement that he just made is not truthful, I can say to the hon. member. Now I would also say to him that severance pay is not just for members on this side of the House, probably he would like to tell us how much severance pay the former Member for Naskaupi took with him when he went.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Mr. Chairman, we have just seen what the hon. member is talking about -

MR. ROBERTS: - wants to know how much severance I took?

MR. DUMARESQUE: No, no, the former member.

MR. ROBERTS: None, none, and not only that, I would not have the brass of the robber's horse to take it when I left here!

MR. TOBIN: On a point of order.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: A point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes. I have recognized the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, the Minister of Justice, the Government House Leader cannot jump up in this House without being recognized, when he wants. Now I say to the Minister of Justice, that he spoke out of turn because nobody mentioned his name or him. I asked how much the former Member for Naskaupi got in severance pay, if he got any, that is what I said.

MR. FUREY: To that point of order -

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

MR. FUREY: The former Member for Naskaupi, under the rules, got the same amount of money as the former Member for Torngat Mountains, under the same rules.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Eagle River.

MR. DUMARESQUE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Obviously, I will have to answer the member's question and I think this is indicative of how we feel as a government and how we feel as a party. We are not in here to say 'put PCs first.' We are saying that if anybody in this hon. House qualifies for a full pension he should not have the unmitigated gall to take $30,000 extra of the taxpayer's money with him when he goes through the door. That is what we are saying. Whether it is Liberal, NDP, or PC, we are saying that is immoral and an outrage to the taxpayers of this Province. I am saying, and I say to the Member for Kilbride, that it is absolutely ridiculous for him to be standing in his place as an hon. member of this House, duly elected by the people, and advocating the cause that he does, a good cause I admit. That program is a good program. We want to see programs like that kept. We want to see more of them.

AN HON. MEMBER: What is that? Daybreak?

MR. DUMARESQUE: Daybreak. Yes. We are sensitive to what is going on with the more challenged of our children. What I am saying to that hon. member is that if we had the money to do it we would do it tomorrow. We have an opportunity here today, to go no further than today. For the hon. members opposite who are going to be walking out with over $200,000 of taxpayer's money in their pockets, in addition to a $65,000 a year pension for the rest of their lives, to stand up and put that money where their mouth is, in the Day Break program. That is what they should do but, no, they cannot do it. They cannot do it because they know they were the architects of this very program.

They know they sat around a Cabinet table just a few short years ago and did what was not in this Legislature for twenty-eight-odd years. There was no such thing as severance pay but they went around that table and said, we have to look out for our own financial, narrow parochial economic interests. That is what is discrediting the politicians of today and the politicians of tomorrow, when we have hypocrites like this who are elected and saying to the people, I want to look out for your best interests but, no thanks, Joe, I am going to look out for my cheque book first. That is what is wrong with politics today and I challenge all hon. members in this House who are in that category to stand up and be counted.

When the hon. Member for Kilbride challenged the Member for Pleasantville and said that he was not in this for the money, well, I can tell you that the other night it was on the public record in this Province, when that hon. member stood before the camera and everybody in this Province and said, I would not have run two elections ago. I would not have sought re-election two elections ago if it were not for the package. If it were not for the pension and the severance, he said, I would not have run. Now, what kind of an indication is that for his constituents, saying to his constituents that he would not have sought office if it were not for the money that I knew I was going to get out of the public purse. That is what he said, that is on the record, and that is the message that the people in this Province rejected four years ago and I am confident they will reject it again tomorrow or the next day, whenever the election is held. The record is clear, they have put PCs first. Yesterday they put PCs first, and they will put PCs first tomorrow.

We cannot live with that. We are in a situation where we have scarce financial resources and we want to see that these resources are put in the best places possible. Day Break is a good program and we want to try and maintain that program but we have to deal with financial reality and what we are saying to the people opposite is that it is in their hands. Stand up and be counted, put your money where your mouth is and say to the people of this Province: we are going to see this program kept in place and we are not going to gouge the taxpayers of this Province as we are about to do in the next few weeks. I think the people of this Province must be told that. We are not insensitive. We are not saying to the people who have been the architects and the caretakers of this program that we do not respect and admire the work they do and will continue to do. As we are speaking we know that this program is being looked at again. But every time that we look at this program or any other program we have to confront the financial reality that's before this Province. If we had the $200,000 or $300,000 that's going to be taken out of this Province, out of taxpayers' pockets, by members opposite, we would certainly be in a better position to be able to make the judgements on the priority needs of this Province in this particular program, or in others.

So I say to hon. members that yes, on this side of the House we are very sensitive to the needs of the people that this program serves. We are very sensitive to the needs of the disabled community in this Province when we look at their needs in secondary education. We're very sensitive to the home care needs of the Province and that's accentuated by the million dollars of new money that's put into that home care program by the Minister of Health.

So we have no apologies to make. What we are doing is trying our best. Working hard and telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as we go to try and unveil the mismanagement, try to resurrect what we want in good government in this Province. It is not very easy, I say to the people of this Province, listening and having to deal with the mess that we were left with after seventeen years of total financial mismanagement and total ignorance of anything other but a PC.

That's not acceptable. We will not accept it. We will work on a fair and a balanced process, treating everybody alike. I would hope that the hon. members opposite now will take their places as they should as hon. members of this House and accentuate real leadership, and stand up and say to the people of Day Break, and others in this Province, that we are going to put you first for a change rather than our own parochial financial interests. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Fogo.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I've sat here for an hour, an hour and a half this morning, listening to debate on the Interim Supply. I don't think in the hour and half of debate -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Chairman, the Member for Eagle River had his say. I'd appreciate it if he'd be silent for a few moments. I've sat here for an hour, an hour and a half, listening to this debate on Interim Supply. I'm not sure how much of the debate really centred on Interim Supply.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's a fair comment.

MR. WINSOR: I'm kind of amazed, Mr. Chairman. I watched the Member for St. John's South make an attempt to be a poet. We talked of wasting money of ten, fifteen and twenty years ago. But it doesn't address the real serious issues that we have facing us today. There are thousands of people out there hurting, and hurting quite severely.

As a matter of fact, I happened to visit the hospital last night. The Member for Fortune - Hermitage was there. A young gentleman, thirty-five years old, discovered some time ago he had cancer. He's going to be released from the hospital tomorrow and he's got to go back for ten days and receive a needle each day. It's going to cost him $125 per day to purchase this needle.

MediCare doesn't cover it, the Canadian Cancer Society doesn't cover it. This individual has to - who doesn't have any income, he's receiving NCARP benefits. He falls through the social net that we have in place. It's a serious problem because this individual can't afford to pay $125 a day for a medication that's important in saving his life.

I look at Interim Supply and I see that in Health we have $ 290 million allocated. In Social Services, $89 million. We have to wonder why we have programs such as that that an individual sick, needing medical attention, is going to cost him $2,000 for the next fourteen days to receive medical care. We spent hours here this morning engaging in senseless debate that serves no purpose in this House and serves no purpose for the Province. We went through forty minutes of it last night and we've gone through days of it.

We have seemingly no focus on what's going on. There are more important issues I think we have to address. We saw a report on March 18th saying that the cod ban may be extended, and I know that the Minister of Fisheries is obviously very concerned that we might not have a fishery reopening in 1994, and we do not know what level of moratorium support payments are going to be there. If you think we have serious problems now, you wait and see what will happen in April or May, whenever the support payments in 1994 cut off, because while we know there might not be any fish, and we are pretty certain there is, we also do not know if there is going to be the kind of level of support coming from Ottawa, because they have deficit problems and they have financial problems as well. It is then that you will want to see a debate on government waste, because somebody somewhere is going to have to find hundreds of millions of dollars to feed the thousands and thousands of hungry and starving Newfoundlanders. I think that is what we should be focusing on. Where are we going to go tomorrow?

We can talk of government waste, the hundreds of thousands of dollars of renovations and so on, but I think it is time that we start to be more creative. I think it is time that we start to use the energies and time of this House, instead of levelling accusations, one against the other. Start to bring it to a new level to try to find something that will help the people of this Province. I think it is high time we do that.

Two or three weeks ago, during the last storm that we had, a constituent called me and said their roof was leaking so badly they had to put five gallon buckets up in the ceiling, and there is no money to help them. Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, which is normally the agency that does it under its emergency assistance program, has no money. They will not have any until June month. Yet we have people out there who are in desperate need.

Yes, Mr. Chairman, I tell the minister that I checked yesterday. The emergency assistance repairs under Newfoundland and Labrador Housing is all used up. Social services might have some, but not Newfoundland and Labrador Housing under its emergency repair program.

The only people who can qualify for social assistance, I have to tell the minister, are people actually on the caseload. If you are not on the caseload

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Oh yes, Mr. Chairman. I have to tell the member, the member is not right. Newfoundland and Labrador Housing has, for a number of years, had emergency assistance up to $1,500 and more recently now up to $4,500.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Chairman, the minister should check it out, and I can tell the minister, with all the certainty there is, because I have helped constituents on numerous occasions get $1,500 because they did not qualify for a regular assistance repair program, so you can qualify previously for $1,500 now up to $4,500. It has nothing to do with social services. It is a program administered by Newfoundland and Labrador Housing. They could give anyone who qualified - for example, if your storm door blew down in the night, or a window was leaking badly, they would replace it. The minister should check. It is up to $4,500 now under emergency assistance repair program. That means you are not eligible then for a normal RAP loan.

We have thousands of people out there in this Province who are in that situation - literally thousands. I have a school in my district that for the last two years the roof has leaked so badly that they have had to actually close down classrooms. The former Minister of Education might know - the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations - he might have had the occasion to visit there in his former job as the President of the NTA. I doubt very much if he will get invited there any more.

MR. TOBIN: He will never be elected President of the NTA again.

MR. WINSOR: I am quite sure he would not be elected President of the NTA anymore. I actually do not think he would have that privilege afforded to him because I think you can only run once.

We have so many pressing issues out there, and we see this Budget document that the minister said was going to be a Budget of truth and hope. In the two or three weeks since the minister introduced this Budget I have seen nothing but doom and gloom and despair out and about this Province. That Budget of hope has disappeared and now it is a Budget that offers nothing to the people.

I heard the Minister of Education a few days ago talk about the fact that we have given $75 million or $80 million in the last three or four years to education in this Province. It might even have been up to $100 million, he said. He wonders what happened to the money. What hypocrisy of the minister to say he wondered what happened to the money.

The Member for Bonavista South had a school built in his district. I think it cost $7 million. Just about one-tenth of the money that has been allocated in the last three years went to build one school in the minister's district. One school in Bonavista cost $7 million. Seven million dollars a K-XII school cost in his district.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible) council (inaudible).

MR. WINSOR: Integrated education, IEC, Mr. Chairman. They spent $7 million - one-tenth of the budget, on one school. In addition to that we need $3 million to $4 million each year to keep schools repaired - a leaky roof, a window that leaks. We have handicapped children and we have to have accessibility for them - that takes up $3 million or $4 million.

So the minister shouldn't wonder where he spent the money, and the minister shouldn't do another study, because I tell the minister, a study has been done. The minister shouldn't waste another half a million dollars. The former minister commissioned a study to be done, and the minister is now talking about wasting more of taxpayers dollars' to determine where they spent their money. If he doesn't know, he can ask the former Minister of Education, who came to bail him out on the denominational issue. He will bail him out again and tell him where the money has been spent, and well spent. We don't need the minister to do another Royal Commission.

I almost fell off my chair when I was watching t.v. and heard the Minister of Finance, the President of Treasury Board, saying to the media: 'We have serious concerns about education. We have spent all this money. We are going to do another study.' Mr. Chairman, that was what the minister said: 'We are going to do another study to determine the capital needs of schools in this Province.' And the present minister has either got a study completed or sitting on his desk.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time has elapsed.

AN HON. MEMBER: By leave.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

Does the hon. member have leave?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Agreed.

MR. WINSOR: Mr. Chairman, we are talking about a waste of government money to do another study. We don't have to re-invent the wheel, that is done. The study is two years old, and the minister is going to talk about wasting taxpayers' dollars to do another study, to see if we need schools in this Province?

I think the minister is going to be really surprised when he gets the results of his study, when he finds out that not $50 million, not $100 million, but perhaps in excess of $200 million is going to be needed to improve schools to the level that they have to be to compete in the 21st century. We are into a whole new era of education. What is happening in the school system today, both at the building level and at the professional level, is not doing anything to enhance the quality of life for the students and for our Province, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like to have an opportunity again to speak to the Interim Supply bill and, as the Member for Fogo just said, about the significant amount of money that is being wasted by this government.

It is almost unbelievable the amount of money that this government has chosen to waste in this Budget. You hear the Member for Eagle River standing and referring to Day Break, that the Opposition can save Day Break. It is the first time in my twelve years in public life that I have ever heard the Opposition being blamed for the government cutting the Budget.

Now, the fact of the matter is that when this -

MR. R. AYLWARD: That is his political immaturity.

MR. TOBIN: The Premier said that, not I - 'Danny' is so immature that he will never be a Cabinet minister. The Premier said that, and I concur with the Premier, for once in my life, that 'Danny' is politically immature and he would never be in Cabinet.

When the Conservative Government was in power in this Province for seventeen years, they supported financially, and every other way, Day Break. How could you not support Day Break, I ask the Member for Eagle River? - something as valuable as the Day Break facility has been to the people of this Province. How could a government with a conscience -

MR. NOEL: You only gave them the bare essentials. Why didn't you help them make it a better program? They were trying to get you to help them make it a better program all those years.

AN HON. MEMBER: You cancelled it.

MR. R. AYLWARD: So you shut it down!

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible) Minister of Social Services (inaudible)!

MR. R. AYLWARD: What stupid logic!

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, I say to the Member for Pleasantville, probably we didn't do enough, but I say to him, we didn't close the doors. I didn't sit with a government that locked up the doors down there and forced them to close like the Member for Pleasantville is doing, in the cowardly way that he always tries to achieve everything that he does. If you ever want to see an act of cowardice, an act of hypocrisy, look to the Member for Pleasantville. He is an architect, the designer of hypocrisy and cowardice in this House. If that members is so strong on Day Break, all he has to do is go to the Premier and say: Mr. Premier, if you do not commit to keep Day Break open, I will resign from your caucus. That is the measure of a real man, I say to the Member for Pleasantville, if he believes strongly in something. That is the measure of a real man - not to say that for seventeen years we didn't give them enough, while he is part of an administration who are going to close the doors. That's what is happening. You have a member over there who hasn't got the courage -

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The Chair has not recognized the hon. the Member for Pleasantville so I ask the hon. member, please, to restrain himself and to refrain from interjecting.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate that. The hon. member should stand - he has the same opportunity as the rest of us to stand. He can stand in this House and resign from the caucus. He doesn't have to resign his seat. You can stand in this House if you have the courage of your convictions and resign from the caucus. You can tell the Premier, as can the Member for Eagle River: We no longer support you. We cannot support you if you are going to close Day Break. That is the opportunity that is open to the members. Say to the Premier, do for Day Break what the Conservative Government did for seventeen years, fund it and keep it open, Mr. Chairman. That is what can happen.

MR. NOEL: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: Didn't the Chairman just call you to order?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

Again, the Chair has to remind the hon. the Member for Pleasantville that he has not been recognized, and again, I ask him for his co-operation in not interrupting the hon. member when he is speaking, please.

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West.

MR. TOBIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

The opportunity is there. The hypocrisy of the member has to be exposed. He cannot go to the group and say: 'I support you,' and yet support the group who are closing it. It cannot be allowed to continue. He has to be exposed. He has to be shown for what he is, Mr. Chairman. The Member for Pleasantville is trying to play both sides against the middle, straddle the fence, but you finally get caught. You finally get hurt, Mr. Chairman, I say to the Member for Pleasantville. Day Break should not close. Day Break must not close, and there is only one group that can make that decision, those are the men and woman who make up the Cabinet of this government. They are the group who will make the decision. They are the ones who made the decision to close it in the first place. Hopefully, we will be able to convince them that the decision is wrong. I have never seen such a group in my life who were committed to the cause of doing something for people like those who operate and promote the Day Break case. I know it. I can say to the Member for Pleasantville, I practiced social work in this Province for ten years and I have had the opportunity to see how these places function. Apart from being Minister of Social Services, I had it from a professional level as well as from a political level.

MR. DUMARESQUE: You put PC first.

MR. TOBIN: Mr. Chairman, the Member for Eagle River complains about putting PC first. There is one message in what the member is saying and that is what we are saying as a caucus and a party - and it is getting to the hon. member - we intend to put people first. We intend to ensure that Day Break -

DR. KITCHEN: Which people are you putting first, yourselves?

MR. TOBIN: No, Mr. Chairman, we are going to put Day Break first, I say to the Minister of Health, the Member for St. John's Centre. We will put Day Break first, where it was for seventeen years with our government. It was first. It was not slashed. Day Break is what we will put first. If the Member for Eagle River has to squirm and crawl because he is embarrassed by the decision of his government, let him resign - if he is that strong on Day Break. For seventeen years we put Day Break first.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: Yes, Mr. Chairman, and I say to the Member for St. John's South, if that is the case we still did not close Day Break. We still did not close Day Break, we kept it open, we kept it operating, so you can talk about that all you like. Now, if you people would get clear of that Economic Recovery Commission, the Liberal Senate in this Province, the Liberal Senate I say to the member, that is Enterprise Newfoundland saturated with your Liberal members, with the former chairman of the Liberal Campaign Committee, if you would get clear of that Liberal Senate there will be lots of money. What about the love seats that were floated up the other day and locked up on the sixth floor, for the Premier's office and the Cabinet room? Sell them, sell them, Mr. Chairman, I say to the Member for St. John's South, sell them and keep Day Break open. The Premier said if I would have known this last year, it would not have happened. He knew it last year when he -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. TOBIN: - the Premier said he could not cancel it. How come he could cancel the contracts? How come he could cancel the contracts, I say to members?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. member's time is up.

The hon. the Member for Pleasantville.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

AN HON. MEMBER: That's right run now, run.

MR. NOEL: Come on back.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. NOEL: Mr. Chairman, rather than being ashamed to be associated with this government, I am proud to be associated with it.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. NOEL: Because this government has been big enough to say that they are going to look at Day Break again. The Minister of Social Services talked to the people involved with Day Break and heard their case and said yes, I will have a look at that again. That is what this government is doing.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. NOEL: We are not small minded, we are not going to say we cannot make any mistakes, we are not going to say we will not listen to people, we will look at the case that is going to be made, and we will see if it makes sense, if it is good for the Province, if it is good for our economy, Day Break will be kept open.

Getting onto the topic of exposure that the hon. gentleman for Placentia West was talking about. We are going to be embarking on a program of exposure over the next little period, some of us are at any rate, exposure of the mismanagement of this Province for the past seventeen years by that Conservative Government that came into office in 1972, when this Province had a debt of $1 billion. They left office in 1989 and they tried to have the people of the Province believe that when they left we had a debt of about $5 billion but we cannot forget what we have in obligations on top of that $5 billion. We have a liability in the pension plans of this Province of $2.5 billion, right now we have a debenture debt of $6 billion. We have a pension liability of $2.5 billion, that is $8.5 billion. Our Crown Corporations have another liability, another debt of $2.5 billion, $11 billion in debt this Province is, a little Province like this.

An average of $20,000 per capita for every individual in this Province, $20,000 in debt and they wonder why we have the troubles we are having in our Province today. We have them because they would spend anything, they would give money to anybody in order to get re-elected for seventeen years. They did not mind what they did, what kind of obligations they hung around the neck of this Province in order to get severance pay for themselves when they decided to walk away from here, young men in their forties and early fifties getting pensions of $65,000-$70,000 per year for the rest of their lives. They will probably live another thirty years.

The Member for Kilbride will probably collect $60,000-$70,000 per year from the people of this Province for another thirty years. That is what he has set up but you know what he also set up, another significant liability for this Province, this severance deal that we have. We have about 35,000 employees of the Government of Newfoundland, they are all eligible for severance. Perhaps, it is something like $15,000-$20,000 per year, that is another half-billion dollars in debt that this Province has. Another half-billion dollars in liabilities

We are up around $11 billion, $12 billion in liabilities this Province has, we have some assets, we have some pension fund assets and other things, but that is just as real a debt as the $6 billion we see in the Budget this year, and this is what we have to deal with and this is why we do not have money for all of the things that we like to do, and this is why this government has tried, even though we have run up a substantial debt ourselves for the past four years, but we have tried to limit it.

We have tried to get more fiscal and financial responsibility in the running of this Province and it is very difficult in these times and it has been all the more difficult because of the way this country has been run by the Conservative party in Ottawa, a party which has brought in the GST, which has brought in the Free Trade Agreement, which has kept interest rates at levels that have destroyed the Canadian economy, and this is why Canadians are rebelling against the Progressive Conservative Party throughout this country, why they are going to be a party of the past before very long. They have destroyed this country, they have run up debts.

During the constitutional debate last fall, we heard Mr. Mulroney and all of his cronies talking about Canada being the number one country in the world, remember all that?... when they were trying to intimidate people into supporting a Constitutional Accord which was designed to get the Federal Conservatives re-elected, that was its primary purpose, just as they did with the Meech Lake deal for the 1988 election, all we heard: Canada, the best country in the world, the number one country in the world but we do not hear very much of that today, do we? What number one country in the world we are today is, we are the number one debtor on a per capita basis, on a Gross Domestic Product basis.

Canada has more resources and fewer people than any other country in the world, we are the most favoured country in the world but the Conservative Party took over the government in Ottawa and doubled the national debt from $200 billion to over $450 billion today, this is why across this country, even NDP governments, even NDP governments, and they now form the governments of three provinces in the country, they are cutting back on services, the party that is supposed to be most committed to the most vulnerable people in out Province, because the money is not there and if we do not get our affairs in order, we are going to be looking at far more extreme cutbacks than you are seeing now, because, maybe next year, or the year after, the financial markets are going to say: no more, no more.

In the present year we are borrowing, as a Province, $266 million. We should not be borrowing a cent. We are borrowing $266 million, and for next year we are budgeting to borrow another $225 million. If we do not get things in order the financial markets are going to say, 'No more.' Then what will happen to your pensions? Then what will happen to your severance pay? Then what will happen to the presents you gave to the past Premiers of the Province? Mr. Peckford - how much is he going to end up costing this Province? Over $2 million in pensions for the rest of his life probably. How many dishes did he take out? How much furniture did he take out?

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Rideout.

MR. NOEL: Mr. Rideout - how much pension did he take out? A young man, forty-five years old or something, getting $70,000 a year for the rest of his life, and now he is getting another $70,000 a year from the federal government for what he is doing up there.

What we have to do if we are going to get our economy straightened out is be fairer in this Province. We have to learn how to share more equitably. We have to look after the people at the bottom, and we have to make sure that the people at the top are not taking too much out of our economy. That has been happening, and that has to end, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you very much.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

It is pretty rough to sit here and listen to such garble from the Member for Pleasantville. I certainly hope that the

MR. DECKER: A point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Minister of Education on a point of order.

MR. DECKER: I challenged the hon. Member for Kilbride. Now I challenge the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes. I tell him if I retire with a pension I will not take my severance. I challenge the hon. Member for St. Mary's - The Capes to make the same statement.

MR. ROBERTS: (Inaudible) now let's hear the member answer.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

AN HON. MEMBER: A point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for Burin - Placentia West on a point of order.

MR. TOBIN: The Minister of Justice cannot be permitted to get away with that comment, because as we hear pensions here all morning being talked about, you lay upon the table of this House how much pension you drew for the time you were out of the government.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. ROBERTS: To that point of order, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. the Minister of Justice.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Chairman, I drew the pension to which I was entitled, which came to, I think at the end, $39,000 a year. I gave that up when I came back into the House and I say now, as my friend from the Strait of Belle Isle said, I am entitled to a full pension. I have twenty years in this House. I will not take severance pay.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. ROBERTS: I say to my friend from St. Mary's - The Capes, for whom I have infinite respect, that if he has the regard for the taxpayers of this Province today he professes, he will not be part of this greedy grab either.

MR. DECKER: Now, here's the challenge. Take the challenge.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Point of order.

The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. WINDSOR: (Inaudible) quarter of a million from your law firm.

MR. HEARN: Let me just say -

SOME HON. MEMBERS: (Inaudible).

MR. HEARN: Mr. Chairman, let me just say briefly to the Ministers of Education and Justice. I was elected in 1982. I came into the House as a backbencher when the salaries were very low. In fact, for the first two years that I was in here the expense money that we got, the same expense money as the members in St. John's got, who could walk through their district, I had 250 miles, most of it dirt road to travel. One of the roughest districts in the Province to serve because it takes up half the Avalon and because you're so near St. John's you're expected to be there all the time.

Not only did we spend the expense money legitimately but also delved into salary. Because of the lifestyle that we lead, luckily we managed to keep in there for a few years. I just say to the members that when I leave here - I have only been here eleven years - I don't qualify for a full MHA pension. But I will take whatever benefits that I receive, the same as every public servant.

I left teaching to come into politics and I didn't get severance pay. I was a month short in that case. I didn't get any severance pay. Every teacher that retires in this Province - if I had to stay teaching I'd be retiring right now with full pension plus severance pay. Every other person out there who works for it and deserves what's there, take it. Because they have a family and everybody else to look after.

If I had a law firm backing me up and thousands of dollars coming into my coffers every day then I wouldn't take severance either.

MR. WINDSOR: (Inaudible) ten thousand a month.

MR. HEARN: I probably wouldn't even take pension.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WINDSOR: Ten thousand a month coming from your law firm.

MR. HEARN: Mr. Chairman, let's get down to what we're supposed to be talking -

MR. WINDSOR: It's easy to be self-righteous then, isn't it? if you have $250,000 in your fat pocket! And your father's silver spoon in the back of it.

MR. HEARN: Mr. Chairman -

AN HON. MEMBER: He worked for that. He didn't make it from the taxpayers.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. TOBIN: He took $400,000! (Inaudible).

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

The Chair is calling for order.

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible)!

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

I ask the hon. Member for Burin - Placentia West to restrain himself, please.

The Chair -

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please! Order, please!

The hon. the Member for St. Mary's - The Capes.

MR. HEARN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We're here to debate -

MR. DECKER: Then the answer is "no".

MR. HEARN: - the Budget. One of the major concerns in the Budget as it applies to my area is the reduction of funding for stadiums. The minister in his announcement announced that the light and power subsidy would no longer be in effect. I am not sure whether or not the minister realizes what that is going to do to the small rural areas who over the years have managed, mainly because of their own endeavour and with some government assistance, and with a lot of local public support, to build and maintain stadiums in different parts of the Province that gave our young people in the rural areas a chance to get involved in figure skating and in hockey to the point where right now many of those local areas challenge the larger centres and do extremely well competitively. If the minister eliminates this power subsidy what it is going to do is make it impossible for a number of the local communities and towns to operate these stadiums.

Let us use Trepassey as an example. Trepassey like many more of us receive in the vicinity of $10,000. The Trepassey town, because of the closure of the fish plant, has had a tremendous financial burden to bear. Local taxes are down considerably because the workforce is nonexistent now. It is just a fixed income, mainly insurance or the package. Many people have moved out. The change in municipal funding which has crucified all municipalities has had a serious effect to the point where this year they have had real problems in selecting priorities to fund. To keep the stadium open this year -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible)

MR. HEARN: I am not a bit concerned with what any of the members are getting. I presume they are getting what they deserve and they should take it and be quite satisfied. All I am concerned with is what we are getting and I am quite satisfied with it. Mr. Chairman, the stadium -

MR. TOBIN: (Inaudible) drawing a pension.

MR. HEARN: Mr. Chairman, I beg your protection.

Mr. Chairman, the stadium in Trepassey is on the brink of closure simply because of a minister who does not understand the effect of his budget on small rural areas. Just imagine what that does to areas that have very few recreation centres.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!

MR. HEARN: Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please!

MR. HEARN: One of the key facilities in these areas will be the stadium and I am sure members opposite also will find that many of their own local areas are going to have extreme trouble financially supporting their stadiums if the funding is not kept in place.

Mr. Chairman, one of the other major concerns that I have in listening to people talk about the Budget, they would lead people to believe that we have no money. A comparison of the Budget over the last four or five years, from 1989-'90, 1990-'91 and so on, shows very little change in the amounts. In fact, since 1989, of course, our Budget is up. There is more money in the Budget this year than there was in 1989. So consequently how can the member say, 'We have no money.'

A lot of people out there think that this poor government, the Tories left them completely broke. They should realize that the Tories left them with a balanced Budget. The year you came into power you had a balanced Budget on current account. Interest rates have gone down significantly since then. You have more money coming in. You have more money in the Budget now than you had then and you cannot manage. There is something wrong there. It is not because you have no money. It is because you cannot manage what you have.

Then they talk about the terrible federal government that is giving them no money. I challenge any of them to comb the Budget and identify the funding that is there from federal sources.

The Member for Eagle River talked about the cuts from the federal government. The member is not - and also the Member for St. John's South this morning I heard him mouthing off about the cuts from the federal government. He is not including the package. He is not including the Hibernia input. He is not including the funding coming in through the roads. I wonder if the member added up all the federal dollars that are coming in here and compared them to what came in some years ago? I would suggest that the member would find that we are much better off now, in relation to federal dollars - and it is a good thing that the federal dollars are there, I would say to the member, because there is no revenue being generated by this government; but do not go out and say that the federal government is not putting money into Newfoundland. The federal government is putting more money in here today than it did when we were in power, through different avenues.

The point is that the local revenues, because of mismanagement - Mr. Chairman, we are approaching 12:00 o'clock so I will adjourn the debate.

On motion, that the Committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again, Mr. Speaker returned to the Chair.

MR. SPEAKER (Snow): The hon. the Member for Bellevue.

MR. BARRETT: Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole on Supply have considered the matters to them referred, wishes to report some progress and ask leave to sit again.

On motion, report received and adopted, Committee ordered to sit again on tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Government House Leader.

MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, before I move the adjournment motion may I just, in addition to wishing hon. members a restful weekend as they go about their pursuits, may I remind the House that we shall meet again on Monday at 2:00 o'clock and with that said, I move that the House do now adjourn.

On motion, the House at its rising adjourned until tomorrow, Monday, at 2;00 p.m.